In the New York Knicks last game of summer-league action in Las Vegas, the team rebounded from a thorough drubbing at the hands of the Miami Heat on Wednesday night to post an impressive 91-80 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday afternoon.
Thus concludes summer-league play for the Knicks.
The summer league gave players like Toure Murry and Jeremy Tyler a chance to showcase their skills and both took advantage. Tyler has already been invited to camp and Murry should be a shoe-in at this point as well. By the way, Murry came down hard on his lower body in a collision with the Clippers’ Samardo Samuels, but the injury does not appear to be serious. Murry played 18 minutes and wasn’t having the greatest of days, (two points on 0-2 shooting) but the effort—especially on the defensive side of things—was still there.
Obviously, as it's been stated here ad nauseam, winning takes a backseat to individual performance in the summer league. With that said, some Knicks' hopefuls stood out on the final day of action.
So, again, let’s assess the players who impressed and those who struggled.
Players who impressed:
- Jeremy Tyler: Tyler was simply a beast on the court today and he dominated the paint on the way to scoring a team-high 20 points on 8-12 shooting. Tyler showed the whole package and it’s clear he earned his invite to camp in the fall.
- C.J. Leslie: Leslie had perhaps his finest summer-league game, as he showed off his great athleticism and ability to get to the basket. Leslie scored 11 points on 5-8 shooting. Leslie also played some solid defense and came away with two steals. He heads to camp in October on a high note.
- Terrence Jennings: With each game he plays in the summer league, Jennings is making a strong case to have a tryout in the fall with the Knicks as well. Jennings has an active body and is blessed with a tremendous wingspan. Jennings ended his summer league by scoring 14 points (on 7-12 shooting) and securing nine rebounds in over 18 minutes played.
- Tony Mitchell: This is a case of too little too late. Mitchell, who has struggled mightily in the summer league, finally showed off his versatility en route to scoring 15 points (6-13 from the field) and grabbing four rebounds.
- Jerome Jordan: Jordan is still hanging in there and had another solid day on the court Friday. James had just six points (3-6 shooting) and six rebounds but showed some nice moves along the baseline. He’s still a longshot to make the Knicks.
Players who struggled:
- Chris Smith: Once again, Smith underwhelmed and just is not making his shots. Smith had another horrible day from the field (three points on 1-6 shooting) and just like his brother, J.R., he never met a shot he didn’t like.
- A.J. Matthews: Obviously, Matthews was a little overmatched in the summer league, as he showed he is still too raw to be taken seriously at this point. Matthews was held scoreless in just over seven minutes played and it’s seems apparent Matthews is headed (for the time being at least) for a career playing overseas or in the D-League.
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