Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Westchester Knicks head coach Derrick Alston wants Lamar Peters to have the freedom to play through mistakes on the court.
"The kid is fast, he can create, he can shoot. So I just try to let him play. And we'll work on (improvement/correcting mistakes) behind the scenes," Alston said. "And then, the next time you get out there (in a game), you show me our adjustments. And we won't have a problem. And he's bought into it, so I'm definitely a fan of his."
Alston's approach seems to be paying off for his lead guard.
Peters is averaging 18 points and 6.7 assists for Westchester, the Knicks' G League affiliate. He's shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc, making nearly four threes per game.
The 21-year-old could be the next Westchester Knick to sign an NBA contract. Big man Kenny Wooten inked a two-year, two-way deal with the Knicks earlier this week, while New York waived Ivan Raab to make room for him. The club would have to open another roster spot to make room for Peters, who is free to sign a contract with any NBA team at the moment.
Below, Peters, who played with the Knicks in Summer League and training camp, answered some questions during an interview late last month about his experience with Westchester:
Q: What's been working for you lately on offense?
Peters: "Working hard, getting in the gym, just staying locked in. I try to keep the same routine every day, keeping the same mental approach."
Q: What's your experience been playing for Coach Alston?
Peters: "It's been great for me and my confidence. Because that guy, he's big on confidence, he puts that confidence in you. It's good for a player when you have a coach that believes in you, believes in your abilities to make plays."
Q: Have you been on the other side of that, playing for a coach that doesn't instill that kind of confidence in his players?
Peters: "Yeah I done been there before and I know how it feel when you're there, when your coach don't really believe in you and don't really let you play your game. But it's different over here. He's letting me play my game and letting me play through my mistakes. And when you let me play through my mistakes I learn from it and I get better. And I couldn't ask for a better coach than that."
Q: Do you feel like NBA teams have seen you at your best as they evaluate G League players for NBA contracts?
Peters: "I've been playing well but I still haven't played my best ball yet. I still feel like I can play better and that comes with working harder. I still feel like I've got more in me. So I'm just going to keep playing my game, keep getting better."
Q: What do you see that you can improve on?
Peters: "There's a lot of things you see (on film) that you can work on that could have made the game go even better. All the time. When you watch film, you might see a turnover that you're like, 'Oh man I shouldn't have even had that turnover. I could have made this pass instead of trying to make a home run. I could have gotten this shot later in the clock instead of making it so quick.' Things like that."
Q: Obviously, the G League is primarily about player development. Some people say wins and losses are secondary to development. How do you approach your time here? Are wins a priority?
Peters: "Yeah (wins) matter because at the end of the year, you want to make the playoffs, you want to give yourself a chance to win the championship. It's all about keep getting better, keep trending in the right direction, coming together as one team and keep building that consistency. So it does matter because at the end of the day, we're playing to win. And everybody eats when a team wins, you know what I'm saying? It don't gotta be one or two people that get recognition. If we win, everybody gets recognition. So that's the biggest thing to me. As a point guard, that's my goal - to win."