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Knicks Face Austin in Final Game of the Showcase

By ahawleyalexander | December 20, 2018

WESTCHESTER KNICKS (14-6) vs. AUSTIN SPURS (10-8)
Friday, December 21 • Las Vegas, NV (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
6:30 PM
2018 NBA G League Winter Showcase

On December 19, the Westchester Knicks (14-6), the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, were overpowered by the Iowa Wolves (7-11), 113-106, in its first game of the 2018 NBA G League Winter Showcase. They will battle in their second to last game of the event on Friday against the Western Conference’s Austin Spurs.

QUICK HITS

John Jenkins is the Knicks leading scorer (27.5 ppg).

John Jenkins is slotted second in the G League with 27.5 ppg (as of 12/19).

Isaiah Hicks is the Knicks leading rebounder (7.8 rpg).

Kadeem Allen leads Westchester is assists (5.7 apg).

Kadeem Allen leads Westchester in steals (1.7 spg).

Isaiah Hicks leads the Knicks in blocks (1.8 bpg).

Westchester is third in the G League shooting 48.3-percent from the field (as of 12/19).

Westchester is fifth in the G League with 47.8 rpg (as of 12/19).

Westchester is fifth in the G League with 6.1 bpg (as of 12/19).

Westchester is 10th in the G League shooting 76.8-percent from the free-throw line (as of 12/19).

Westchester is 2-3 in its last five contests.

Westchester is 7-3 in its last 10 contests.

Westchester is 5-3 in the month of December.

INJURY REPORT

Isaiah Hicks (left ankle) is doubtful.

LAST TIME OUT

On December 19, the Westchester Knicks (14-6), the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, were overpowered by the Iowa Wolves (7-11), 113-106, in its first game of the 2018 NBA G League Winter Showcase.

The Knicks controlled the Wolves by 26 heading into the intermission. However, a third-quarter cold-front crippled the Knicks and they were unable to fully recover. After shooting 57.1-percent from the field and distance in the first half, the Knicks only saw 35-percent of their shots fall in the third quarter. Iowa’s 38-21 edge in the fourth-quarter helped tell the tale.

John Jenkins registered a game-high 30 points for Westchester. He shot 66.7-percent for the game and went 5-of-7 from three-point territory. Isaiah Hicks was the team’s second-leading scorer with 15 but left the game early due to left ankle soreness. Kadeem Allen dished nine dimes and Stephen Zimmerman came down with eight rebounds and 14 points.

FORTY FORTY CLUB

John Jenkins scored 40 points against Grand Rapids (12/15) which tabbed the second time this season he scored that much. He tallied 41 points against Lakeland (11/10). On Saturday, Jenkins netted a career-high 13 field goals, went a perfect 8-for-8 at the charity stripe, his third most makes at the line this season, and shot 54.5-percent from downtown. After averaging 14.5 points in his first two games following his return from FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Jenkins has averaged 32.0 points in his three most recent contests. He also dished a career-high seven assists against Iowa (12/19).

THAT WAS CLOSE

Westchester’s two-point margin of victory over Grand Rapids (12/15) was its smallest margin of victory this season. Westchester has won by three twice and has falling by as low as five points once.

RIPE AT THE STRIPE

Westchester sank 33 free throws of its 34 as a team (97.1%) against the Grand Rapids Drive (12/15). Those makes marked a season-high by the team. Kadeem Allen (9-for-10), John Jenkins (8-for-8) and Trevon Bluiett (7-for-7) led the Knicks at the charity stripe.

SERVING RESERVES

The Westchester bench generated 53 of the team’s 119 total points against Grand Rapids Drive (12/15). A game before that, against Fort Wayne (12/13), the Knicks’ bench totaled a season-high 62 points while the team scored 131 as a whole. In the last three games, the Knicks bench is accounting for 41.6-percent of the team’s offense.

FREE BASKETBALL

Westchester is undefeated in overtime games having gone 2-0. Grand Rapids (12/15) and Delaware (12/3) both endured extra basketball with the Knicks.

OFF TO THE RACES

In Westchester’s three most recent contests, the Knicks are putting up 17.3 points in the open court. Before 12/11, the Knicks endured a five-game stretch where they only scored nine or fewer fastbreak points.

IRVIN IS DESERVIN

Zak Irvin has done a little bit of everything since his return to Westchester. He’s scored double-digits twice, made six field goals twice, has only missed one shot twice, went perfect from the field in one contest, and has nearly doubled his minutes from his first game back. He is averaging eight rebounds and 5.5 assists in the last two games and has only committed one turnover in the last four games.

THAT WAS CLOSE

Westchester is 3-0 in games settled by three points or less.

PLAYIN’ THROUGH IT 

Isaiah Hicks has been battling a left ankle sprain for the last two games and has played a little over 20 minutes combined. He failed to hit a shot against Grand Rapids (12/15) prior to an early exit but hit six against Iowa (12/19). He was 2-for-4 from three against Iowa, which marked the most three-point makes since Canton (11/14). In the two-game span, Hicks is averaging 7.5 points, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assist.

BE MORE AGGRESSIVE

Billy Garrett shot 60-percent from the field but only converted three shots against Iowa (12/19). His eight total points tabbed the first time Garrett has registered single-digits since South Bay (12/5). Between 12/8-12/15, Garrett was the team’s third-leading scorer with 16.8 points, reached the 20-point threshold once, shot 63.4-percent from the field, got to the line 14 times.

GOTTA KEEP THAT SAME ENERGY

Westchester scored 70 points through the first half against Iowa (12/19) which marked the most points in the window all season. However, the team scored just 36 points in the second half second-lowest this season.

CAN’T GET DOWN IN THE SECOND HALF

In four of Westchester’s last five games, the team has allowed opponents to score 60-plus points in the second half. Three of the games resulted in losses, the other went into overtime.

HAUL PAUL

Paul Watson hauled eight rebounds against Iowa (12/19) which marked the most by him since Windy City 11/27. He’s grabbed eight or more three times this season.

THE GET BACK

Kadeem Allen was on the attack from 12/3-12/13 finding various ways to impact the game. In the span, he scored on nine baskets in four of those games. Before, Grand Rapids (12/15), Allen shot 57.7-percent (41-for-71) in the five games prior. Considering those same five games, Allen averaged 2.4 free-throw attempts (only missed one).

In Allen’s last two, he is shooting just 30.8-percent (8-for-26) and has made just one three. Though he got to the line a career-high nine times against Grand Rapids, he failed to make a trip there against Iowa. He is averaging 7.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and only 2.0 turnovers.

FEELING BLUI-ETT

Trevon Bluiett went 1-for-8 against Iowa (12/19) but went 4-for-9 against Grand Rapids (12/15). He hit nine shots against Fort Wayne (12/13) and then failed to hit a shot against Lakeland (12/11).

Bluiett has proven to be a lethal three-point sniper having made four or more threes in a single game on four occasions. He’s scored in double-figures eight times as a reserve. However, six times this season, he’s failed to hit a three with at least two attempts. Against Iowa, he went 0-for-6 from downtown.

He has only missed one free-throw this season (23-of-24).

ZIM ZIMMA

Stephen Zimmerman is averaging 13.0 points in Westchester’s two most recent contests. He’s converted six shot attempts in each of those games and averaged 7.5 rebounds in the span. He’s also done so in less than 24 minutes on both nights.

SHOWCASE YOUR SKILLS

The 2018 MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase, the league’s premier in-season scouting event, will be played in Las Vegas from Dec. 19-22 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in promotion with Las Vegas Events.

The four-day, 27-game scouting event features the league’s 27 teams each playing two regular-season games in front of representatives from all 30 NBA teams.  For the first time, the event will be held in December, allowing NBA team personnel the opportunity to evaluate two-way and NBA G League talent in advance of the 10-day signing period and two-way guarantee deadline.  For the second consecutive season, the NBA G League Winter Showcase will be played across two courts with as many as seven games per day.