Kevin Knox, Knicks Defeat Hawks in Las Vegas Summer League; Trae Young Drops 21

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07:  Kevin Knox #20 of the New York Knicks drives against John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The New York Knicks pulled out a 91-89 victory Saturday over the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League.

Kevin Knox, the No. 9 pick in the 2018 NBA draft, played an instrumental role in the win, scoring 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Knox's athleticism was on display as he scored his first points as a professional:


Kevin Knox gets his first bucket in style in Vegas! https://t.co/ttQEelaFlf

While one should never read too much into summer-league games, reaction toward Knox's big effort was overwhelmingly positive:

Bill Simmons @BillSimmons

Congrats to Knicks fans on Kevin Knox - I try hard not to overreact to Summer League, but it’s clear he’s an ideal 2-way wing for whatever the NBA is now. Very polished for his age already.

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Initial impression of Knicks rookie Kevin Knox: WHOA!!! This kid is athletic and smooth.

☕netw3rk @netw3rk

😍😍😍😍Kevin Knox 😍😍😍😍

Knicks fans won't have much to cheer about in 2018-19. The team will be bad, and it's unclear when Kristaps Porzingis will be healthy enough to return from his torn ACL. In Knox, the franchise at least has somebody to provide hope.

The Hawks want Trae Young to deliver the same feeling to their fans. He had his best game of summer league Saturday, scoring 21 points and dishing out 11 assists. Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey accentuated the positives when it came to the fifth overall pick:

Andy Bailey @AndrewDBailey

I was mostly calling out the bad with Trae Young in Utah and during today's first half. But he just finished a really strong overall game. Two positives I've seen from him this summer: He clearly has NBA playmaking potential, and his one-on-one defense is better than I expected.

Atlanta will have also been encouraged by John Collins, who had a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes.

Both the Knicks and Hawks return to action Monday. New York will play the Utah Jazz, while Atlanta faces off with the Portland Trail Blazers.