Grading the Knicks’ NBA 2K22 Ratings: Are they accurate?

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With the release of NBA 2K22 last Friday, we finally have our first look at the 2021-22 New York Knicks roster in 2K. This also means that Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes are playable for the first time ever. Let’s dive into these ratings and see if 2K got it right.

The Ratings

Julius Randle, 87

Can’t really complain about this one. Coming off the best season of his career where he won Most Improved Player(MIP), Randle has earned his place among the top ratings in the Eastern Conference. He should probably be at an 88 or an 89, but his performance in last year’s playoffs definitely played a factor in this year’s rating.

Grade: B

RJ Barrett, 83

This one was really surprising. Not because of how he isn’t higher, but because 2K finally decided to show RJ some respect. 83 is honestly a really great jumping-off point this upcoming season for the 21-year-old. The rating isn’t too low or too high, it’s perfect.

Grade: A

Kemba Walker, 83

Unsurprisingly, this is the lowest rating Walker has had since NBA 2K16. The 5-time All-Star had one of the worst seasons of his career last year and looks to bounce back on his hometown team. His dynamic scoring and playmaking abilities could transform the Knicks’ offense, leading to a ratings boost down the line. However, whether it be from his knee issues or just a regression of his skills, there is also a chance 83 isn’t the lowest we see his rating throughout the year.

Grade: A-

Derrick Rose, 83

After a terrific playoff series against the Hawks last season, D-Rose earned this 83 rating. Although he’s tied for the 2nd highest rating on the team, the former MVP will be coming off the bench this season. Look for him to make a real run at 6th Man of the Year and for this rating to stay pretty much the same all season.

Grade: A

Mitchell Robinson, 80

There’s no question about it: When the 7’0 Robinson is healthy, there are not many other players in the league who can match his level of athleticism and energy. However, he’s coming off multiple injuries, the latter of which saw him miss the final 26 games of the regular season, including the series against the Hawks. If he’s able to stay healthy, there’s little-to-no chance that this rating stays the same. For now, it does make sense after not playing half of last season.

Grade: B+

Evan Fournier, 79

This is the first one that’s way off. 2k has had a tendency in the past to underrate guards/wings that can score in a multitude of ways. Any guard they perceive to not be able to defend well and not have playmaking abilities will have a hard time getting a rating over 80, especially if they play for the Knicks. This one just doesn’t make sense, though. It could be due to the fact that the devs may have been taking his stats with Boston into account too much. Before his trade to the Celtics, Fournier was putting up almost 20 PPG in only 30 minutes per game. Fournier is at least an 82, maybe even an 83. The intangibles he brings on offense, including his shooting and finishing skills, are better than any other 79 in the game. This rating isn’t accurate at all.

Grade: F

Immanuel Quickley, 78

As one of the biggest steals in the 2020 NBA Draft, Quickley improved his rating from a 71 last year all the way up to a 79 by the end of the year. This is why this rating doesn’t really do it for me. To drop down a point after an entire offseason doesn’t make much sense. We’ll see how it unfolds for the second year from Kentucky, but there’s little doubt that he improves enough to get this rating over 80 by the playoffs.

Side note, Quickley is REALLY good at NBA2K.

Grade: C

Nerlens Noel, 78

As the defensive anchor of the Knicks throughout the final stretch of last season that culminated in the team making the playoffs for the first time in 8 years, Noel proved that he wasn’t your average backup center. Defensively, Noel is an incredibly reliable option off the bench. However, his offensive woes will always hamper any rating he’ll ever get from 2K.

Grade: A-

Obi Toppin, 76

If it weren’t for the competency and confidence shown by Obi Toppin at the end of the season last year, there’s a chance he’s nowhere near the 76 that he finds himself right now. The potential is clearly there, but will he find the ability to become more offensively dynamic? Only time will tell. But until we see him take a big leap, the rating he currently holds will stay the same.

The Rest:

Taj Gibson, 76

Kevin Knox, 72

Quentin Grimes, 71

Luca Vildoza, 71

Dwayne Bacon, 71

Miles McBride, 70

Overall, the Knicks have a team rating of 83, which is the highest rating they’ve had since NBA 2K14.

Knicks News: Damian Lillard raves about Immanuel Quickley, what’s in store for the young guard?

immanuel quickley, knicks

It was only a few months ago that the New York Knicks were heavily connected to star guard Damian Lillard in a potential trade scenario. Of course, Lillard elected to stick with the Portland Trailblazers after signing a big extension, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t intrigued by the concept of moving to New York and joining a team that is up-and-coming with fresh young talent.

In fact, Lillard expressed his fandom for Knicks young guard Immanuel Quickley, who is entering his second season in the NBA. Last year, Quickley averaged 11.4 points, 2.0 assists, and shot nearly 40% from the field. He also connected on 39% of his shots from three-point range, tacking on 89% free-throw shooting. Having a player of his quality off the bench is a major benefit for a Knicks team that will be rotating combinations of players to keep their stars fresh for an entire 82 game season.

“Immanuel’s game has that craft and flow. Creativity is hard to guard. He can be that Lou Will or Brandon Jennings for the Knicks. Coming off the bench to cause havoc for the defense. He’s like the new age pure hooper.”

Quickley has the flow and instinct is to be an impact player for New York moving forward. Developing his floater game and learning from veteran point guard Derrick Rose, the former Kentucky stand-out, has the attributes to not only feature as a shooting guard but potentially be a long-term solution at point guard as well.

During Summer League play, the Knicks featured Quickley primarily at point guard, as he averaged 33.5 minutes over five games. He posted 20.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and an impressive 7.8 assists. He ranked second in the entire Summer League competition in assists only behind Payton Pritchard, who posted 8.5.

However, Quickley had a tough time shooting, connecting on just 33.7% of his attempts and shot 24% from three-point range, launching 10 shots per game. Clearly, the Knicks wanted to get him as much action as possible in preparation for the 2021-22 season.

Earning high praise from players like Lillard is a great sign for Quickley regarding his development and potential influence. If he can continue to grow and expand his skill-set, he could end up being a 6th-man candidate for the Knicks and potential starter down the road. At just 22-years-old, he has plenty of untapped potential left to be exposed.

Do the New York Knicks already have their long-term solution at point guard on the roster?

immanuel quickley, knicks

The New York Knicks have set themselves up perfectly for the future, whereas over the past few seasons, they’ve made malicious moves that have disrupted chemistry and convinced star players to take their talents elsewhere.

It was only one year ago that fans believed the Knicks might trade Julius Randle for more draft capital. Instead, Randle became one of the best players in the league and one of the first All-Stars the Knicks have had in years. However, the point guard position remained a serious issue, but the front office might have put a plan in place that could keep the spot healthy and full of talent for the next 5+ years.

Of course, the Knicks retained Derrick Rose on a three-year contract and signed Kemba Walker on a two-year deal. Between Rose and Walker, they have seven All-Star appearances. Rose hasn’t enjoyed a season of that caliber since 2011, but Walker is only one year removed from a season where he averaged 20.4 points per game. Nonetheless, both are dealing with degenerative bodies and require one another to mitigate fatigue over the course of an 82-game season.

The Knicks have plenty of supplemental talent in case they need to rest either of the two veterans. Deploying Immanuel Quickley at point guard during Summer League play and drafting Miles McBride out of West Virginia could be the perfect long-term solution at PG. Considering Rose’s deal is essentially a two-year contract, matching up with Walker’s, they are giving their youth plenty of time to develop and refine their talents.

McBride, who is known for his toughness and energy on defense, averaged 27.7 minutes during the Summer League. He posted 15.2 points, shooting 53.2% from the field and 50% from three-point range. He seemed every part of a solid point guard, posting 3.5 assists on average. Alternatively, Quickley recorded 20.2 points and 7.8 assists per game.

It is a major positive to see two young players developing their skills at a position the Knicks have had a lack of talent at for years. Now the team has four competent players they can rely on without skipping a beat.

However, each individual player has their strengths and weaknesses, which head coach Tom Thibodeau can expand upon. For example, Rose dominates as a floor general, driving to the rim and using his savviness to get the ball into the paint and maximize center play. Although Rose posted a career-high 41% shooting from three-point range this past season, far exceeding expectations on the team traded for him at the deadline.

Walker is it true and tried scorer, and while he doesn’t have the elite court vision you prefer from a point guard, he takes pressure off players like Julius Randle, who the Knicks were forced to rely on during the postseason and throughout the regular campaign. Having a player like Kemba who can produce double-digit points on a nightly basis is a huge addition, especially at his $8 million AAV price point.

Quickley is still finding his groove in the NBA but offers immediate offense off the bench and has developed significantly with his court vision. His biggest weakness is poor shot selection and driving to the rim (23.8% of his points last season came around the rim), two things he worked on this off-season. He still requires more of a sample size and live-action.

McBride is a defensive maestro, having the largest wingspan and hand size of any PG in the most recent draft class. Thibodeau loves his tenacity on defense, but he also proved to be an adequate scorer from beyond the arc this summer. Altogether, Thibodeau can curate plenty of different combinations to maximize each player’s strengths and hide their weaknesses, which presents an extremely exciting period for Knicks basketball.

WATCH: Knicks’ Immanuel Quickley shows off handles in workout video

immanuel quickley, knicks

The New York Knicks are expecting big things from second-year guard Immanuel Quickley after a successful rookie campaign. After being selected 25th overall in the first round last year, Quickley established himself as a primary offensive threat.

Thanks to mentorship from veteran point guard Derrick Rose, Quickley saw his floater game improve dramatically as the season progressed. During Summer League play, he showcased it as one of his strengths, going on to average 20.2 points over 33.5 minutes.

It is clear that the 22-year-old player has lofty expectations for himself moving forward, working diligently this off-season to improve portions of his game that were considered weaknesses in his first season as an NBA talent. However, he started off extremely well as a rookie, averaging 11.4 points, 2.0 assists, and shooting 39.5% from the field. He connected on 39% of his shots from three-point range, averaging 4.7 attempts per game. He was also an 89% free-throw shooter, showing his efficiency in multiple scoring categories.

One of his primary tasks this off-season was to work on his ability to drive to the rim and convert layups. Only 23.8% of his points came in the paint last year, a number he will be looking to increase with added versatility driving to the rim.

Another category he’ll be looking to improve in is percentage of points from mid-range shooting. Only 6.6% of his overall point production was from the mid-range, a category that showcases solid interior shooting. Take a look at the clip below, as Quickley is clearly working on maneuvering in the paint to avoid defenders and get to the rim seamlessly.

Adding stutter-steps to his repertoire and hesitation moves should help him drive to the rim more efficiently. It seems that Quickley hasn’t given up on the idea of playing point guard, which will require him to expand his vision on the floor. The Knicks signed Kemba Walker to a two-year deal and Derrick Rose to an extension, but Quickley spent the majority of his offseason working at PG during Summer League play.

It is entirely possible that when Kemba and Rose’s contracts expire in two years, the Knicks could look to Quickley as a long-term solution at point guard. He has the tangible traits to be a fantastic player in that regard, but just needs more refinement and experience at the position before he can be trusted with the job.

Do you think that Quickley could be the starting PG for the future? Comment below!

3 bold Knicks predictions for the 2021-22 regular season

new york knicks, rj barrett

The New York Knicks are entering the 2021-22 season with elevated expectations and plenty of talent to justify their goals. After earning the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks are looking to make an even deeper run this upcoming season, and signing Evan Fournier, and Kemba Walker should back up that assessment.

Let’s take a look at three bold predictions they could see several young players make an even bigger impact.

Three bold predictions for the Knicks next season:

1.) RJ Barrett will lead the team in 3-PT percentage

Last season, second-year shooting guard RJ Barrett ended up being one of the team’s best three-point shooters. He finished the season, hitting on 40% of his shots from three after connecting on 32% during his rookie campaign in 2019. Attempting 4.3 shots from range per game, he connected on 1.7, posting 17.6 total points. His corner three-point shot was lethal for a team that desperately needed him to improve from beyond on the rim.

Barrett ranked fifth on the team among players who averaged 10+ minutes per contest. He sat behind Alec Berks, Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, and Reggie Bullock. He was only 1.4% away from being the team’s top three-point shooter, and that is a goal he’s looking to accomplish this upcoming season. Working on his shot creation and shooting fundamentals, Barrett leading the team in that category, would see his value skyrocket at 21 years old.

2.) Immanuel Quickley will average 15+ points per game

Second air player Immanuel Quickley had himself a solid Summer League running point, averaging 20.2 points per game over 33.5 minutes. Quickley averaged 11.4 points last season over 19.4 minutes per game, and both of those statistics could see an increase next season. Shooting nearly 40% from the field and 39% from three-point range, Quickley proved he is an offensive weapon that is only hitting his stride at the NBA level.

However, during the Summer League, he only shot 33.7% and 24% from three. The sample size is extremely small over just five games, but he’s more than capable of averaging 15+ points per game, especially as Tom Thibodeau will look to get him involved.

Some might say Quickley scoring 15+ points isn’t a bold take, but the Knicks have a lot of mouths to feed this season, especially with the retention of Alec Burks and the signing of Kemba Walker. I wouldn’t forget about the drafting of Quentin Grimes either, who will earn minutes at shooting guard.

3.) Mitchell Robinson will win DPOY of the year

There’s nobody that believes in Mitchell Robinson more than himself and the front office, as he’s been vocal on social media propagating his hard work this off-season. Increasing his size and muscle mass, Robinson is optimistic he can win Defensive Player of the Year. As a lanky center who can guard the perimeter, Robinson is capable of being a star defensive player, but his primary struggle is remaining healthy. Robinson has never played over 66 games in a season, playing in just 31 last year with a broken foot and hand.

If he can remain consistent in the health category, Robinson can easily become one of the league’s most feared defenders. Improving his physicality in the paint will also give him more success against bigger, more imposing power forward and scoring centers. During his rookie year, Robinson blocked a career-high 2.4 shots per game. He will be looking to resurrect that version of himself — coincidentally, Mitch also played the most game of his career in that season. Momentum has proved to be a catalyst for his success.

Knicks: What position maximizes Immanuel Quickley’s impact moving forward?

immanuel quickley, knicks

Through two games in the NBA Summer League thus far, the New York Knicks have given Immanuel Quickley the ability to shine as a point guard. He may have not had the best outing in their first contest, but he turned it around with an impressive performance against the Pacers on Tuesday with 32 points and 8 assists. Just take a look at some of these highlights:

What he’s proven in these two games is that he thrives as the primary ballhandler on the court, and most certainly equips the playmaking skills necessary to play the 1 in the NBA.  However, it’s simply not the capacity in which the Knicks will need him the most this upcoming season.

Looking at the Knicks Roster

If Immanuel Quickley was to be listed as a point guard for 2021-2022, he’d be the 3rd option, behind Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose. The Knicks would also need to move on from Luca Vildoza, who has a non-guaranteed contract.

As of right now, the most likely role for the 22-year-old from Kentucky would be the backup SG with Evan Fournier starting. This would ensure him the most playing time, and the opportunity to fill in for either Rose or Walker if they were to get injured.

This is probably the most ideal situation for Quickley going forward. No matter how good he is at facilitating and handling the ball, he most naturally fits into the role of shooting guard. Keeping him at his regular position while occasionally giving him reps at PG will allow him to continue to grow as a valuable combo guard.

What Quickley’s Summer League Performance Means

As we saw all last season, Quickley is most effective when he’s shooting the ball well. This allows him to penetrate more efficiently and thus collapse the defense and find the open man or rise up for his patented floater. All this was evident in the first two summer league games for the Knicks.

Against the Pacers Tuesday, Quickley played with fearlessness and aggressiveness that came from increased confidence in his shot. Once he saw the ball go in a few times, he began attacking the rim, which forced defenders to commit. This not only gave players on the Knicks wide-open looks, but it also got him to the free-throw line, where he went 6-6. After the game, he displayed a heightened sense of maturity when discussing his role at the Summer League.

“I’ve been around a year… I’ve been in playoff games. Just continuing to spread my knowledge to the new guys, the young guys. Obi and I are doing a great job understanding we have to help these guys and communicate.” – Immanuel Quickley via NYPost

Quickley seems to be a player who understands what he needs to do to help the team win. No matter what it is you ask of him, he performs to the best of his abilities. As for this upcoming season, he will understand that the best way to help the Knicks will be at the shooting guard position. From a long-term perspective, Quickley could be the team’s solution at PG after Rose and Walkers’ contracts expire in two years. Rose is on a three-year deal, but the final season is not guaranteed.

Knicks may have special young duo of guards after eye-opening Summer League performance

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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, he’s averaging 21 points on 41% shooting during the Summer League. He’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 he’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 shouldn’t overlook his capabilities, based on his stellar performance against Los Angeles.

Too Quick, Too Hot: Quickley lifts Knicks past Pacers in NBA Summer League

immanuel quickley, knicks

After a jittery start to his first NBA Summer League, Immanuel Quickley got the perfect advice from New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.

“Just be yourself,” Quickley revealed.

And he looked like the Quickley that the Knicks have stolen with the 25th pick in last year’s NBA draft and was named to the All-Rookie NBA Team.

After a brutal 5-for-17 shooting in the Knicks’ 89-79 loss to the Toronto Raptors Sunday, Quickley bounced back strong with a game-high 32 points built around 11-of-21 field goals.

He was perfect six-for-six from the line and added eight assists against a single turnover. The guard out of Kentucky also had two steals in a solid game on both ends of the floor.

“Last game, I was kinda trying to find my way and get everybody involved,” Quickley said. “In this game, I’m kinda trying to do both but just a little bit more aggressive, help my teammates and be more of a leader.”

Quickley did much of the damage in the second half, dropping 23 points and six assists where the Knicks outscored the Pacers by 11 points.

Obi Toppin, who fed off Quickley’s point guard play, had another strong outing with 22 points and nine rebounds but had five turnovers.

Toppin started the game aggressively but a little bit out of control. He committed four of the Knicks’ 10 turnovers in the first quarter and missed three baskets around the rim, including a flubbed dunk in his first attempt. But once he got settled and played in the flow of things, the sophomore forward was a wrecking ball.

Two days after the Knicks lost to Atlanta Hawks in the first round, Quickley and Toppin were reportedly back in the gym.

“That’s what the Knicks culture is — working hard, enjoying the work, and getting better,” Quickley said. “We’re really excited for the Summer League team. We’re really excited for the next season. We just want to continue to get better and take the steps to move forward.”

The Knicks have prioritized getting Quickley more reps as a point guard in his first Summer League play. So far, the 4:1 assist-to-turnover ratio had been impressive. He said he’s looking forward to soaking in more lessons from Derrick Rose and the newly acquired Kemba Walker.

Meanwhile, fan-favorite Jericho Sims stayed perfect in the NBA Summer League with an eight-point, nine-rebound effort. He was 4-for-4 from the field after going 6-for-6 in his debut. Sims, who signed a two-way deal reportedly for two years per Keith Smith of Spotrac, has been a revelation.

“He played phenomenal running the floor and catching lobs in traffic,” freelance NBA scout Tony Coleman told Empire Sports Media. “He’s playing solid defense on the other side of the ball. He’s definitely a steal in my humble opinion.”

Coleman is in Las Vegas for his scouting trip.

Meanwhile, Lithuanian guard Rokas Jokubaitis, the Knicks’ 36th pick, finally made his Knicks debut contributing three points and one assist in nine minutes.

Jokubaitis, a healthy DNP in the Knicks’ first game, was given more run this time than Luca Vildoza. Knicks Summer League coach Dice Yoshimoto even experimented with a three-guard lineup featuring Jokubaitis, Miles McBride, and Vildoza, who went scoreless in four minutes but managed to grab a rebound and one steal.

The Knicks’ first-round pick, Quentin Grimes, had another rough shooting game with six points on 2-for-10 shooting in almost 35 minutes. Matched against NBA Draft Day target Chris Duarte, Grimes committed five fouls. Duarte had a solid debut filling up the stats sheet with 14 points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two shot blocks. The 24-year old Duarte played with so much poise and shot 4-of-8 from the field, including 3-for-7 from deep.

The Knicks’ other second-round pick, McBride, put an exclamation point to their win and his impressive game with a dunk.

With Thibodeau in attendance, McBride showed the toughness and tenacity that made the Knicks coach fall in love with his game. He scattered 14 points (5-of-7 from the field), three rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

On Wednesday, the Knicks will return to action against the Los Angeles Lakers at 10 pm ET on ESPN2.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo 

Obi Toppin, Jericho Sims electrify in Knicks’ first Summer League loss

New York Knicks, Obi Toppin

New York Knicks couldn’t find their mark from the outside, but Obi Toppin and Jericho Sims provided the highlights in an 89-79 loss to the Toronto Raptors Sunday at the start of their NBA Summer League campaign in Las Vegas.

The Knicks shot an atrocious 7 for 40 from deep, with Immanuel Quickley and Toppin combining for 4-of-21 three-point shooting. Both incoming sophomore players were 1 for 5 from the floor in the opening quarter as the Knicks played catchup the rest of the way.

“I was very curious. So far, it’s been a great experience,” Toppin said after the game. “It would have been better if we got the W. We just didn’t lose but we learned today. We’ll learn from this and get better.”

Toppin’s confidence grew as the game went on as he got comfortable in a go-to guy role in their summer roster after languishing behind Julius Randle last season. He led the Knicks with 24 points, including a breakaway slam in the opening half. He added eight rebounds, a steal, and a block and finished the game on 10-of-21 shooting.

Jericho Sims jumped out of nowhere to steal the show among the Knicks rookies. His energy and athleticism led him to produce 12 points on a perfect 6 for 6 shooting on the floor. He was electric and a human highlight reel with his above-the-rim shots. The Knicks announced during the early moments of the game that Sims had been signed to a two-way contract. He can be with the Knicks next season up to a maximum of 50 games. The 58th overall pick added eight rebounds and one shot block for good measure.

Quickley pushed the pace after his slow start and had the Knicks within single digits, 83-74, on his three-pointer with 2:26 left. But the Raptors answered with back-to-back threes to put the game away.

Quickley played a game-high 37 minutes and collected 15 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and two steals as the primary point guard.

The Knicks’ first-round pick Quentin Grimes opened the game with a three-pointer and finished with nine points, all coming from beyond the arc. He was 3-for-11 overall and 3-of-8 from the three-point line. Miles McBride missed all his four attempts from 3 but scattered nine points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal while showing some toughness on both sides of the floor.

Luca Vildoza’s shooting slump from the Tokyo Olympics continued, but he drew a charge on his first defensive play and handed out three assists.

Lithuanian Rokas Jokubaitis did not see action, and Knicks Summer League coach Dice Yashimoto described him as situational. Barcelona only cleared him to play three games in Las Vegas. From the looks of it, he’s more likely a pick-and-stash with the Knicks prioritizing Vildoza before him.

The Knicks will return to action on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers at 10 pm ET on ESPN2.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

 

Knicks open NBA Summer League against Raptors

The New York Knicks will showcase their young core in the 16th MGM Resorts NBA Summer League set to tip-off on August 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The NBA announced Wednesday that all of the 75 NBA Summer League games would air live on television on ESPN networks or NBA TV. Every game will also be available to stream on the ESPN App.

Barring any trades, the Knicks’ Summer League core will feature Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox, and newly-signed guard Luca Vildoza from Argentina and their draft picks. RJ Barrett could join them unless the Knicks hold him back to avoid injury. Former Kentucky big man Reid Travis, who went undrafted in 2019, will join the squad. Other free agents trying out for training camp spots will round up the team.

It will be the first NBA Summer League for Quickley and Toppin, as the league didn’t hold one last year due to the pandemic.

There is a big chance Vildoza can make it back to Las Vegas in time for the opening tip against the Toronto Raptors on August 8, as Argentina is in limbo in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Argentina lost its Olympics opener to Luka Doncic and Slovenia, 1118-110, where Vildoza scattered 11 points on 3-of-8 field goals, five assists, three rebounds, and three steals in 23 minutes of play.

As it stands, Argentina must win its next two games against Spain and host Japan to advance to the quarterfinals. If the Argentinians split their remaining two games, they have to end up as the top two third-place finishers among all groups. The quarterfinals will be played on August 3, followed by the semifinals two days later and medal matches on August 7.

Here’s the Knicks’ NBA Summer League broadcast schedule (all in Eastern Time):

Aug. 8 vs. Raptors 4:30 pm ESPN2

Aug. 11 vs. Lakers 10 pm ESPN2

Aug. 13 vs. Pistons 8 pm NBA TV

Aug. 14 vs. Cavs 8 pm NBA TV

Should the Knicks advance, they will play at least an additional game in the knockout-style playoffs on August 16. The NBA Summer League Finals will be played on August 17.

Fans who want to watch the games live can purchase tickets by visiting NBAEvents.com.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo