The New York Knicks overcame Los Angeles Lakers 91-82 on Wednesday night at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Coming off a victory over the Indiana Pacers, the Knicks backed it up with another solid performance, led by forward Obi Toppin and guards Immanuel Quickley and Miles McBride.
Toppin has looked solid thus far, scoring 17 points in the win but also collecting 11 rebounds. This was one of his more inefficient performances, turning the ball over five times. However, heâ€™s averaging 21 points on 41% shooting during the Summer League. Heâ€™s also posting 9.3 rebounds per game, ranking in the top 15 among players in Vegas.
However, the Knicks’ stand-out performers against Los Angeles were Quickley and McBride, who combined for 47 points. Quickley connected on 7-of-15 shots for 25 points, shooting 46.7% from the field, but only hit one of his six attempts from range. He did collect seven assists, building on his momentum as a point guard.
The jury is out on Quickley featuring as a primary shooting guard, which is likely his reality after the Knicks brought back Derrick Rose and signed Kemba Walker to shore up the PG spot. Quickley is proving heâ€™s capable of leading an offense, which could lead to the Knicks entrusting him with the position down the road.
Fellow teammate Miles McBride also had himself a fantastic game, scoring 22 points on 78% shooting. He also connects on all six of his three-point attempts, showcasing his range, even hitting a buzzer beater as the shot clock expired late in the contest.
McBride was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, representing a player that head coach Tom Thibodeau fell in love with during the ladder portions of prospect evaluations. He is a quality defender that brings clear-cut shooting prowess to the team.
It will be difficult for McBride to crack the roster and earn minutes, but his emergence could lead to the Knicks cutting Luke Vildoza, who has a non-guarantee contract for four seasons.
If the West Virginia product continues to play like this, the Knicks could have themselves two young guards who are capable of contributing toward a winning season.
The front office has finally put together a roster with sufficient depth, and whenever rookies are contributing and making an impact in their first year, you know the coaching staff is doing something right. Quickley, the former 25th overall pick, and McBride, the 36th overall pick, represent two players who are already surpassing expectations.
Of course, it might be a bit early to get overly excited about McBride, but we shouldnâ€™t overlook his capabilities, based on his stellar performance against Los Angeles.