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New York Knicks Summer League: Game Three Notes - Kevin Knox Finds Range & Allonzo Trier Grows
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11 Jul 2018 10:40 AM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox drives against the Los Angeles Lakers. (Image Source: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images)

With swingman Paul Watson starting instead of Frank Ntilikina, the New York Knicks offense came out very sloppy and was mostly discombobulated in the first half. As a team, this is an athletic bunch that struggles from the perimeter, even when they get open looks, and they committed too many turnovers (18 in 40 minutes) in their defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Knicks Summer League Notes: Game 1Game 2 |

One player who found his perimeter stroke was first-round pick Kevin Knox. While he didn’t shoot well overall, just 9-for-22, the former Wildcat got hot from downtown and connected on 5-for-7 from three-point range.

During a stretch, late in the third quarter, as the Knicks erased a 24-point deficit (30-3 run) they hit five straight threes (3-for-17 on their other three-point attempts), including four by Knox. His third three came with a defender flying in his face, which prompted a heat check on the following possession as the rookie went from even deeper. Despite a poor three-point percentage in the first two games, he continues to shoot with confidence.

As he’s done throughout summer league play, Knox has flashed the ability to penetrate going either left or right. On the final possession of the first half it was Knox who brought it up, as he went coast-to-coast and finished with a pretty floater over the defender. Overall, he wasn’t as efficient around the basket, although at least a couple of times he didn’t get the whistle on drives when it appeared he was fouled. Knox made all six of his free throw attempts. 

On more than one occasion he looked comfortable leading the break, which is when both of his assists came. Knox grabbed nine boards, but turnovers (seven) were a problem, as he stepped on the sideline multiple times.

With 29 points, Knox led the Knicks in scoring, followed by fellow rookie Allonzo Trier who poured in 21 in his best effort of the summer.

With Ntilikina sitting out, it was up to Trier to step up as the primary playmaker. In the first half, he didn’t look comfortable running the show but his confidence grew in the second half. As New York made their run, Trier began to play with more bounce in his step and started to hit his jumper. The Arizona product shot much better from the perimeter in the second half as he played with more poise. We also saw a very pretty up-and-under scoop score from Trier. The kid can finish and really glides on the floor.

In 30 minutes, Trier shot 8-for-13 and posted team-highs with 10 rebounds and five assists (two turnovers). Let’s see if this was a one-off for the undrafted rookie or a performance to build on.

Knicks Summer League Roster: Point Guard |Shooting Guard | Forwards | Bigs |

Second-round pick Mitchell Robinson finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, and five fouls in 26 minutes. Again, he flashed his potential with put-back slams and highlight blocks. Two of his blocks came on the perimeter. Robinson had a great block on a corner three-pointer which put on display his closeout speed, length, and overall athleticism. His second blocked three-pointer was even more impressive. Guarding Josh Hart outside the arc, Robinson stuck with him and rejected his attempt. He’s incredibly active on the offensive glass with five of his eight boards coming on that end of the floor. 

Swingman Tony Williams didn’t start but he played 24 minutes and contributed 15 points. Williams had a strong sequence in which he finished on a forceful drive taking the bump. Williams missed the free throw and followed up with a great steal leading to a dunk off his own missed free throw. He turned the ball over on the next possession, one if his three turnovers. The good and the bad. Most importantly, the IU product knocked down a pair of threes on five attempts (40 percent). If he can do that, he will stick in the league. 

Shooting guard Damyean Dotson scored just four points on 2-for-9 shooting, including 0-for-3 from three-point range. He’s strong when he goes up around the basket and needs to do more of that.

Forward Isaiah Hicks saw his first action of the summer and on certain possessions he showed his defensive toughness in the post, but also committed six fouls in 15 minutes. Hicks did score eight points. He knocked down a face-up jumper, which is what he needs to do to stick. Hicks also had a nice take from the three-point line all the way to the rim for a layup. Didn’t know he had that in his game. His only miss on five attempts was a bricked open three-pointer. 

In addition to Hicks, Michael Gbinije, Tyrius Walker, and Juwan Howard Jr. got their warmups off for the first time. Gbinije immediately turned the ball over with an errant pass and didn’t even take a shot in 13 minutes, while Walker, Howard Jr., and Daniel Ochefu combined for four attempts despite each only getting a minute of action. 

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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