Summer League Recap: Knicks 71, Blazers 69

Despite shooting paltry 34.3 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from three, but the New York SummerKnicks eked out a less-than-pretty 71-69 victory over a Portland SummerBlazers squad that featured a lot of guys that will be in their regular season rotation.

The Good:

Tim Hardaway Jr. is a 3-point gunner, we know that, but Summer League Hardaway Jr. is a totally different beast. The former Michigan Wolverine scored a game-high 20 points including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. Hardaway took a lot of shots, but the leading gunner of the day was Brandon Triche, a former Syracuse guard, who jacked up five 3s in just 11 minutes of action, and connected on zero of them.

I really liked what I saw out of the Knicks’ two second-round picks, Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, but for very different reasons.

Early shot the ball with a lot of confidence in the first half. You could tell Early is used to being the guy¬†on a team, and that should help ease his transition into the League. He went 3-of-8 from the field and 1-of-2 from beyond the arc while doing a nice, active job on the boards, grabbing six rebounds. I can’t say what exactly it is, but he just gives off that “I’m going to be a rotation player for the next ten years” vibe.

Thanasis is like that guy in pick-up who presses all game long, jumps around and is just an all-out pest on the basketball court. He’s somebody you’d hate to be matched up against, but if he’s on your team he’s a lot of fun because of how active he is on the floor. And then, in the 3rd quarter, we got this (Via @cjzero)

Shane Larkin’s game-winning floater. It was pretty.

The Bad:

Shannon Brown 4-on-1 breaks. *Shivers*.

It would have been nice to see Jeremy Tyler have a good game with Cole Aldrich sitting out, and … he didn’t deliver. He shot 2-of-9 from the floor, had four turnovers and six personal fouls. There are just a lot of dudes on the Knicks’ roster right now. Some strong LVSL performances would go a long ways to helping the powers that be make up their minds. Like with Cole, who got a two-year deal hard on the heels of a boffo 15-rebound performance. See that, Jeremy? Do what Cole does.

Clyde Quote Of The Game:

Next game is Monday at 4:00 EST against the Charlotte Hornets on MSG. Oh yeah, Melo’s coming back. Sort of a big deal. Go SummerKnicks!

Pelicans 77, Knicks 72: Knicks fall in Summer League opener

In what was a really close game throughout the day, the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the New York Knicks in their Las Vegas Summer League opener yesterday afternoon, thanks in part to a huge afternoon from Austin Rivers.

Rivers, who had a rookie year he’d like to forget, elevated the Pelicans with twenty-four points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.

Iman Shumpert, playing for the Knicks Summer League squad, got a pretty good amount of burn, which is hardly surprising: with the Knicks point guard depth lacking a bit going into the 2013-14 season, the plan seems to be to let Shumpert handle a few minutes a night running the point.

There’s just one problem: Shumpert is not capable of running point in the NBA. Today’s game was just another example: he missed all of his shots, didn’t attack the rim, and turned the ball over a bunch of times. He did manage to contribute on the glass — something he’s excelled at so far in the league.

Along with Shumpert, the Knicks rolld out Jeremy Tyler, C.J. Leslie and Tim Hardaway Jr. for hefty minutes today. Tyler looked the most comfortable with team, adding eleven rebounds, ten points, five fouls, was consistently active, and definitely came across looking like a player the Knicks could use in a thin front court this season.

Hardaway Jr. got the most minutes today, and what we saw was pretty much expected — high volume shooting, finishing with a rough 4-12 FGA/FGM for the day, including 1-6 from deep.

It might be a day Hardaway would like to forget, but that’s why they call it Summer League.

C.J. Leslie stuck, for the most part, with what seemed like the Knicks program for the day: not making many shots. Leslie went 2-9 from the field, and never really looked comfortable. Part of this might have to do with Leslie’s unique situation; unlike Hardaway Jr., Leslie has no idea if he fits in the Knicks somewhat long-term plans. Leslie is one of those guys who is going to get a lot of minutes this summer, but has to play a lot better then he did today if he wants to make the 15-man roster.

Two guys that most are probably not familiar with that had good games today were Toure Murry and Eloy Vargas. Murry was the only Knick to shoot the ball well, going 4-6 from the field and notching eleven points in just twelve minutes of play.

Vargas, along with Tyler, had a nice day inside — not so much on the defensive or rebounding side of things, but he did add nine points on 4-5 shooting.

Murry and Vargas came off as the two guys who should probably get a bigger role in the next couple of games, to see what they can do in 30+ minutes of action.

The Knicks next game is Sunday afternoon against the Washington Wizards at 4:00 EST.