Knicks drop Summer League finale at hands of Nuggets

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers, Isaiah Roby, knicks
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks concluded their 2023 Summer League campaign on a disappointing note on Saturday, suffering a narrow 89-86 loss to the Denver Nuggets, bringing their five-game stint to a close with a 2-3 record.

Knicks Shorten Rotation, Notable Players Miss Out

For this particular game, the Knicks chose to shorten their rotation, fielding just eight players. Notable non-participants included Isaiah Roby, Charlie Brown Jr., and Jaylen Martin.

A Struggle to Keep Up and Shooting Woes

From the onset, the Knicks were on the back foot, trailing by as much as 17 points halfway through the first quarter. They did manage to stage a late fourth-quarter rally, even briefly taking the lead in the final minute. However, they fell short due to a resurgence of shooting woes.

Saturday’s match saw the team’s shooting accuracy decline significantly, with just 41% from the floor and 30% from three-point range, marking a steep decline from their above-average efficiency in the preceding game.

QJ Peterson Shines, Expresses Gratitude

QJ Peterson was the standout performer for the Knicks, contributing 25 points on 8-17 shooting, six rebounds, and two assists. He was the only Knicks player to land multiple three-pointers, going 3-9 from beyond the arc.

Following the game, Peterson took to Instagram to express his gratitude to the Knicks for providing him the opportunity to represent the organization this summer.

Other Standout Performances

Other notable performances came from Trevor Keels and Michael Foster Jr., who both reached double figures and demonstrated solid defensive efforts. Keels netted 15 points on 7-17 shooting with four assists, while Foster added 17 points on 8-16 shooting, seven rebounds, and three blocks.

Marcus Garrett made steady defensive contributions with four steals and four rebounds, despite a 2-9 shooting performance on the offensive end.

Nuggets’ Standout Performers

The Nuggets were led by Julian Strawther, their 29th overall pick from this year’s draft. Strawther registered 25 points on 50% shooting and added nine rebounds to his stat line.

Hunter Tyson, Denver’s second-round pick this year, contributed 17 points, including three three-pointers, six rebounds, two steals, and a block. Fellow second-rounder Jalen Pickett added 11 points, four rebounds, and six assists.

A Summer of Learning for the Knicks

While this summer might not have been as exciting for the Knicks as the previous year when they reached the Summer League championship game, there were some encouraging moments from these young prospects, despite finishing with a losing record. The question now is whether any of these players managed to secure a spot on the NBA roster or a two-way contract with the organization.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_