Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
LAS VEGAS -- RJ Barrett didn't shoot the ball well in his Summer League debut, but Knicks Coach Jud Buechler had a simple message for the rookie after the game: don't stop shooting.
"There were ups and downs in the game for him, which you expect out of a rookie. We saw a lot of things we liked," Buechler said, via the Knicks, after Barrett missed 14 of his 18 shots in 25 minutes against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans. "We will continue to encourage him to keep shooting and aren't worried about his shot not falling."
Barrett said afterward, via a quote provided by the team, that he wasn't worried about his off night.
"It was a great experience, it just felt good getting out there and playing with all of the guys," Barrett said. "My shot didn't fall tonight, but I'm confident that it will next game."
Barrett seemed to fall into one-on-one situations a few times on Friday and didn't create the space he may have been looking to at times.
This, of course, is a season of growth and development for the No. 3 overall pick. So there will probably be many nights when Barrett doesn't shoot well. The Knicks, at least in Summer League, will ask him to keep shooting.
Allonzo Trier played well for New York, finishing with 21 points (8-14 FG), 5 rebounds and four assists. Kevin Knox II also shot the ball well, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Mitchell Robinson was electric, blocking a Williamson shot and finishing with eight points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two steals.
None of the players seemed to feel the earthquake while they were on the floor.
"I didn't even know it happened," Barrett said, via the Knicks. Buechler said the same thing, via a quote relayed by the team.
The earth shook with 7:53 left in the fourth quarter, the result of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in California. Some stunned fans left their seats and headed for the exits. Players stood on the sideline and ultimately left the floor. The game was initially delayed with the hope of restarting the game, but the NBA ultimately decided to cancel the game. The Knicks trailed, 80-74, when the game was called.
LeBron James and his soon-to-be Laker teammate, Anthony Davis, sat on the floor on baseline seats and drew plenty of attention on Friday. Knicks owner James Dolan, team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and head coach David Fizdale sat courtside for the game.
James stood in awe after one of Robinson's alley-oop dunks. He also greeted Fizdale, who was Janes' assistant coach in Miami, during a break in the game. James did the same with Mills and Perry.
Dolan, Mills and Perry also huddled before the game in an arena hallway prior to the game.