The third summer league game was the most disappointing yet for the New York Knicks, dropping them to 0-3.
Summer league final scores do not matter for anything past the middle of July, as they disappear and never spoken of again. The New York Knicks, however, will not want to remember this night, after struggling mightily from start to finish shooting the basketball against the Toronto Raptors.
Scoring was almost invisible between the second and third quarters, to the point where summer coach Jud Buechler benched his entire starting lineup. The energy was lacking, and the young Raptors ran all over them, including former Syracuse standout Chris Boucher.
The team shot just 33.8 percent from the field. At one point, they were at 24.3 percent, and halfway through the game.
Frankly, it was difficult to find anyone who stood out. RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis were silent. Mitchell Robinson had six fouls in 16 minutes by the third quarter. Kevin Knox was unable to knock down anything.
Nothing worked out, until Buechler returned his starters from their bench hiatus. Finally, some life was injected into this Knicks team down the stretch. Too little, too late, of course, but Barrett hit enough shots to take his shooting percentage over 40.0 for the first time, finishing with 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
Assessing Barrett after two nights — and at summer league — is shortsighted. He was hardly perfect Tuesday night and has quite a few miles to travel in development, but down the stretch became his most positive development yet.
With a quick turnaround, the 2019 NBA Draft’s No. 3 pick can continue building confidence.
- Brazdeikis had a quieter night, with nine points on 4-for-9 shooting. 30 points won’t be a recurring theme.
- Tyler Cavanaugh had a quick 10 points in 15 minutes off the bench.
- Knox had 15 points, but on an atrocious 3-for-15 shooting and 1-for-8 on three-pointers. Eight of his points came from the free throw line.
- Fouls aside, Robinson had 13 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Controlling his game and learning from mistakes is a necessary next step to make in his development.
Now 0-3, the Knicks were once favored to win the summer league due to the presences of Robinson, Knox and Allonzo Trier. Add Barrett and Brazdeikis from the draft, and there was a recipe for success.
The New York Knicks will end their summer league schedule on Wednesday, July 10, against the Los Angeles Lakers at 9:30 p.m. ET.