Knicks Summer League Progress Report
So far through two games, the Knicks have looked exactly how you’d expect in the NBA Summer League, with lots of highs and lows sprinkled throughout. That said, some players have looked better than others, which is expected when you have a mixture of "experienced" and rookies on the same team. So what has stood out for each thus far?
Obi Toppin – So far, Obi has been the most consistent Knick at a high level. While he hasn’t been as efficient as Jericho Sims, he has done it on much higher volume. Toppin opened the summer league up with an impressive showing against the Toronto Raptors, going 10-21 for 24 points from the field. He followed that performance up by going for 22 against the Pacers, shooting 3 of 6 from downtown. The best thing about his two games so far has been his aggressive and confident play. He hasn’t been shying away from attacking the rim, looking to dish the rock, or spotting up from deep. So far, so good for Obi.
Immanuel Quickley – Quick has had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows through the first two games this summer league. After a pretty poor showing against the Raptors, he Quickley (sorry) followed it up with one of the best summer league performances thus far this year. He shot 11-21 from the field and poured in 32 points. Even more impressive than his scoring was that he distributed 8 assists and only had 1 turnover. He can, at times, get a bit caught up with his dribbling and two-man game beyond the arc, consistently leading to poor shots for the team late in the shot clock. Getting a handle on that could lead to an even better summer league finish for the young sophomore guard.
Jericho Sims – Can you believe this guy was the 58th pick? Shades of Mitchell Robinson with his bounce and reach combination but certainly less of a rim protector. While he provides just a bit less at the rim, his perimeter and pick and roll defense have been superb, plus he looks a bit more polished in the post on offense. Jericho has gone a total of 10 for 10 from the field for 20 points and has pulled in 17 rebounds in two games. While the stats won’t blow you away, Sims has the look of a guy that could fight for minutes should some injuries arise this season in New York (knocked on wood btw).
Quentin Grimes – Grimes is the one that I can’t quite place just yet. He hasn’t exactly popped, but he hasn’t been abysmal either. Quentin struggled against Toronto besides going 3 for 8 from downtown when our team as a whole went 7 for 40. Against the Pacers, Grimes went 2 for 10 from the field, yet 2 of 6 from beyond the arc showing again he has the chops from 3 even if it wasn’t his best performance. Grimes is the type of player who will be like Reggie Bullock in the regular season. He will be able to knock down spot-up threes and defend multiple positions. Give him proper NBA spacing, and I see him being a lot more consistent on both ends of the floor.
Miles McBride – Last but certainly not least is the epitome of a Tom Thibodeau type of player in McBride. While not shooting the best form downtown in the first game against Toronto, going 0-4, he knocked down 2 of 3 from deep against Indiana. He looked the part of a lockdown perimeter defender and showed he could be precisely what Thibs is looking for on both ends of the floor. Against Indiana, he finished 5-7 from the field and 14 points for the game. He was also the only guy from the bench to go a positive +/- (+6) in the game. He may fight for playing time this year, but he has the potential to shine in the NBA if given his chance.
There hasn’t been too much to brag about from the rest of the Knicks as Vildoza and Rokas have struggled, albeit in limited time. Wayne Selden has been playing fine for the Knicks but unfortunately seems to be with the team to provide a veteran presence. Nevertheless, it was nice to see the Knicks bounce back against the Pacers; let’s hope we can see Obi and Quick taking more steps forward to solidify their regular-season roles.