The New York Knicks are 1-1 in the summer league, thus far. However, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the young team. The new draft picks and youngsters on the roster are showing us that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. This is what we have been waiting for, finally acquiring youth and watching them grow and develop through the organization’s developmental systems.
I know, it’s only been two games, but this is exciting and Knicks fans should be happy with what we have seen so far.
The Knicks’ youngest player:
It all begins with our first round draft pick, Kevin Knox. The 18-year-old Kentucky product, and second-youngest player from this years draft, is averaging 20.5 points and has Knicks fans loving this pick, as of now. Even though he’s shooting just 37 percent from the field and having trouble finding his three-point stroke, but we shouldn’t be concerned about his three-pointers right now. What we should be most concerned with is his gifted athletic ability and natural instincts, mainly offensively.
His first points in the NBA was a coast-to-coast tomahawk dunk that had Knicks twitter in a frenzy. What was so surprising about Knox already was how he looked settled playing against NBA competition, granted it’s only the summer league, but still. Knox displayed his aggressiveness by driving to hoop and being able to take contact and draw fouls. This was something that he did in college, but not to the extent that we have seen in two games. He already is a candidate for Rookie of the Year with what he has shown in two short games.
Then we have my guy, our second-round pick, Mitchell Robinson. A lot of Knicks fan were skeptical about the pick and rightfully so. Robinson hasn’t played a competitive basketball game in over a year and already has shown that he has what it takes to play in the NBA. He well-played in both games, especially defensively. Against the Hawks, Robinson tallied nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Then, 12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks against the Jazz. There’s no doubt that he is a gifted defender, tall and long, and has a knack for the ball around the basket. If Fizdale and the coaching staff are able to continue building him, defensively, and fine tune his offensive game then he will certainly be in the Knicks rotation come this season.
Finally, we have what we hope to be, our future point guard Frank Ntilikina. Frank has spent the beginning of the summer working on his game and putting on muscle, both which he desperately needed to improve on. In the first game against the Hawks, Frank was a little hesitate to do much on offense, only attempting seven shots and making two. However, his defense appeared to be much better than last season. Frank was able to frustrate Trae Young for a good majority of the game and show that he has what it takes to be an elite defender in the near future.
In the second game against the Jazz, Frank was able to recognized that he needed to be more aggressiveness and stepped up. Ntilikina was driving the lane and being able to finish once he got to the bucket, which he was not so hot at last season. He attempted 14 shots and ended up with 17 points. He’s still only 19, but has started to show that he is capable of what Knicks fans expect.
All-in-all, we should be excited with what he have seen so far. Again, it’s only the summer league, but we need some upside for this team when Porzingis returns to the court. Pairing Porzingis with Knox, Frank, Timmy and even Robinson, gives us hope for the future. It’s not going to be the quickest of turn-arounds, but the potential of our young draft picks should give Knicks fans everywhere a reason to tune in for this upcoming season.