The SummerKnicks are undefeated no more after falling 82-79 to the SummerHornets Saturday afternoon. Like the majority of Summer League games, this game wasn’t pretty. TGe shot a gruesome 22.7 percent from beyond the arc and 34.9 percent overall, but still managed to keep it close thanks to a fairly dominant starting-five unit.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scores (yes, again) with 27 points on 20 field goal attempts, but he wasn’t just gunning from deep this afternoon, though, as the second-year wing made a number of pretty drives and cuts to draw a couple of 3-point plays inside.
As previously mentioned, the Larkin-THJ-Early-Tyler-Henriquez quintet had a combined plus/minus of +54 in this game. When one cog was removed from this beastly machine, things fell apart pretty quickly.
I’m convinced Shane Larkin is spending his free time in Vegas watching nothing but Pablo Prigioni film from the last two seasons. Larkin registered a team-high three steals and kept the SummerHornets on their toes all game long. He still didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, just 5-of-14 from the field, but he was all over the place, grabbing rebounds, attempting circus passes, and possibly cleaning up at the blackjack tables. He’s our Hunter S. Thompson Game MVP, because he did pretty much everything. I’m not saying he ingested pure adrenochrome, but then again…
Cleanthony Early has been the SummerKnicks second-best player, despite a lack of gaudy numbers. Best of all, he showed he’s probably ready to contribute at the NBA level right out of the gate. He is just a really smart basketball player that picks his spots on the floor to shoot extremely well, can crash the boards (10 today!) and he works his ass off on both ends of the floor. I’m all in on the Early-Should-Be-In-The-Rotation-From-Day-One train. For the 34th pick in the draft, that’s all you can ask.
The Knicks of Summer’s front court struggled again without the irresistible object that is Cole Aldrich protecting the rim. The Bugs got to the line 26 times, converted 22 of those chances and generally made life tough for the Tyler and company.
The Knicks added another big this week, Jason Smith and thus the odds of Jeremy Tyler making the big-league roster got a tad slimmer this week, so he REALLY needed to have a big last hurrah in Vegas. That didn’t happen. He shot just 3-of-12 from the floor, and once again just didn’t look exactly fluid in the geometrically-shaped offense
Shannon Brown, Heroball Gawd.
Clyde Quote Of The Game:
Knicks MVP today: Clyde's story about buying a first-class plane ticket for his 1975 All-Star Game MVP trophy
— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) July 19, 2014
Bye SummerKnicks, you were surprisingly cool and fun. Hope against hope that the RealKnicks pick up where y’all left off.
By P&T's Southside Jim: pic.twitter.com/weC3fY83uh
— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) July 19, 2014