In a new segment for Knicks Film School “5 Questions with Vivek,” I ask 5 questions to preview the upcoming game. In this case, I’m previewing tonight’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns:
5 Questions: Knicks vs. Suns:
Will Cam Johnson & Ty Jerome come out with a Summer League splash?
The Phoenix Suns orchestrated a draft-day trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to send the #6 pick (Jarrett Culver) to Minnesota for the #11 pick (Cameron Johnson) & Dario Saric. Additionally, the Suns acquired Aron Baynes & the draft rights to Ty Jerome from the Boston Celtics for the Milwaukee Bucks future 1st round draft pick. Both deals became official yesterday, thus allowing Jerome & Johnson to suit up for the Suns. Both players are expected to suit up and should look forward to excite the crowd against the Knicks.
Will RJ Barrett overcome his shooting struggles?
Clearly RJ Barrett came out of the summer league gates with a boatload of excitement. Hey, it’s his first true NBA game (albeit Summer League) and he’s on national TV against his former teammate Zion Williamson. Unfortunately, both Duke players had a somewhat disappointing start. Zion left the game after the 1st half with a bruised left knee that will sideline him for the remainder of the Summer League. RJ, on the other hand, couldn’t hit the side of a barn. Maybe it’s due to the first game jitters. Perhaps game 2 will help RJ relax and better find his shot.
Is this the Billy Garrett Jr. revenge game?
After a cup of tea with the Knicks roster late last year, Billy Garrett Jr. got an invitation to join the Suns’ summer league squad. Garrett didn’t get to play Friday night due to the 7.1 earthquake that cancelled their summer league debut. With the return of Johnson, there may not be a plentiful amount of minutes to direct to Garrett Jr., but it’s worth noticing tonight.
Who will be a part of the Knicks’ bench unit?
In the summer league opener, the Knicks sent out Kenny Wooten, Ignas Brazdeikis, and Lamar Peters as part of their main bench rotation. Summer League is an opportunity for the Knicks to evaluate their entire roster. Perhaps we see some more opportunities for Amir Hinton or VJ King over the next couple games coupled with a decrease of minutes for our starting lineup.
Will we pass the ball?
One thing for certain, passing was quite optional during the first game. The Knicks had 11 assists and 10 turnovers. With a more cohesive summer league unit, we should expect the passing numbers to be a bit better compared to some of the other teams. Look forward to our guards (Kadeem Allen & Allonzo Trier) to prove me wrong in distributing the ball. Additionally, look forward to RJ Barrett refocusing his approach and showcasing some of his passing abilities he showed at Duke.