By Ben Horney, Knicks fan since '94
Final Score: Pelicans 77, Knicks 72
Summer league play is more about the process than the results, and despite losing their first game of the 2013 Las Vegas NBA Summer League, the Knicks summer squad showed plenty of promise.
With just a few days of practice as a unit under their belt, the team, understandably, did not show complete continuity throughout. However, there were flashes of brilliant chemistry -- especially during a third quarter run that featured Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr. and C.J. Leslie together on the perimeter. That quarter saw the Knicks score 24 points, the only quarter in which the team scored 20 or more points for the game.
During last year's NBA regular season, one of the Knicks few weaknesses was rebounding, as they averaged 40.6 rebounds per game as a team (26th in the league). Today's summer squad out-rebounded the Pelicans by nine, with 46 total rebounds.
The Knicks performance had a roller coaster-type feel to it -- their rumble to the top behind a few minutes of cohesive ball-movement would suddenly drop, giving way to a series of possessions dominated by isolation. But that's the nature of this type of tournament.
Tim Hardaway Jr. opened his Knicks career with a *whoosh*, as he swished a fadeaway jumper from the right corner. He finished the game with a team-high 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Former NBA D-Leaguer Toure Murray was close behind, scoring 11 points in just over 12 minutes off the bench. 6'10" Jeremy Tyler, who has previously played in the NBA for both the Warriors and Hawks, rounded out the list of Knicks who scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds.