The Westchester Knicks opened up the NBA D-League Showcase against the Erie BayHawks. How did the Knicks perform on Day 1?
After losing the past two games, the Westchester Knicks entered the NBA D-League Showcase with something to prove. Not only were the Knicks looking to get back in the win column, but the team was looking for the defense to step up.
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After giving up an average of 107.0 points over their last two games, the Knicks’ defense needed to show signs of improvement.
Both teams almost mirrored the other’s production in first half. The big difference for the Erie BayHawks was Gabe York. York was draining threes at an efficient and quick rate.
In addition, he was displaying his ability to get to the rim and draw contact.
The BayHawks opened the second half by starting two point guards together, which gave York more of an opportunity to showcase his scoring. On Erie’s first possession of the second half, the BayHawks guard drained a 3-pointer to increase Erie’s lead to eight points.
Despite falling behind by eight during the third quarter, the Knicks showed impressive determination out of the half by going on a 11-0 run at one point during the quarter. The Knicks had a few solid possessions on defense.
One notable play saw Courtney Fells get the steal and finish on the other end for the layup.
Through the first six-and-half minutes of the third quarter, Erie totaled 82 points. In the remaining five-and-a-half minutes, the BayHawks totaled seven points.
From that point on, the Knicks closed out the third quarter on a 19-7 run to cut the deficit to one point heading into the final quarter.
Westchester had the same mentality in the final quarter of the game, as they totaled 30 points and ended their two-game losing skid.
Von Wafer kicked off the quarter with a monstrous slam to give the Knicks the lead.
During the final frame, the Dub Knicks went on another run, which turned out to be crucial. When Gabe York shoots 8-of-12 from 3-point range, the Knicks benefited from their offense.
The Knicks caught a huge break in the final second of the game. With the BayHawks trailing by three points, Erie had an opportunity to tie the game. Stephen Zimmerman, who is on assignment from the Orlando Magic, committed a turnover by stepping out of bounce.
After Doron Lamb went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe, the Knicks had the game won. The Knicks iced the game and picked up their 12th win of the season.
The Knicks were able to get solid offensive production from the entire team. Six players scored in double figures. The most notable performance was by Wafer.
Wafer recorded 23 points, along with five rebounds and five assists, in 27 minutes off the bench. Jordon Crawford (16 points) and Mike Davis (10 points) rounded out the double-digit scorers off the bench.
In total, the Knicks’ bench totaled 53 points.
Courtney Fells has been a solid contributor for the Knicks since his arrival in Westchester. In the first game of the NBA D-League Showcase, Fells had an efficient shooting day and was distributing the ball well.
The North Carolina State product finished the game with 22 points, five assists, and two rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.
The No.1 3-point shooting team had the advantage over the No. 5 3-point shooting defense. The Knicks shot 50.0 percent (8-of-16) from beyond the arc. Wafer drained all three of his shots from deep.
With the production Wafer is providing, he’s showing that he can be an important contributor off the bench.