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Returning Players And Chemistry Leading To Westchester Knicks’ Success

The key to Westchester’s success has been chemistry from returning players.

NBA: Summer League-Utah Jazz at New York Knicks Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Westchester Knicks sit at 15-7 and hold a share of the best record in the Eastern Conference with the Raptors 905. The Knicks have seven returning players on their roster, including two-way player Isaiah Hicks. Zak Irvin was recently reacquired by the Knicks and Luke Kornet has seen some time in Westchester on assignment.

John Jenkins has been the focal point in Westchester’s offense throughout the season. He is averaging 26.1 points per game on 44.5 percent from beyond the arc and is making 3.3 triples per game. His effortless scoring ability and shooting efficiency continues to add value to Westchester. In the past couple of games, Jenkins has shown he can create plays for his teammates. He worked well as a drive-and-dish facilitator and was productive in the pick-and-roll with Stephen Zimmerman during the G League Winter Showcase.

Along with Jenkins, Hicks has played a significant role on the team. Hicks is the second leading scorer on the team and continues to give the Knicks a presence down low. He missed a couple of game then made a great impact in his return against the Windy City Bulls. While he continues to look to improve his offensive game, including his perimeter game, the second-year forward has played a huge role during his time in Westchester.

There has been games where Billy Garrett has taken over whether it’s in the starting rotation or coming off the bench. He has impacted the team as a playmaker and scorer. Garrett can knock down the mid-range shot, drain catch-and-shoot threes, and can finish at the rim. Even when the Knicks’ guard misses a shot, he continues to use his hustle to force turnovers and create opportunities on the offensive end.

With the re-acquisition of Irvin, he has given the team great energy on the glass. Not only is he averaging seven rebounds since returning to Westchester, including a 12 rebounds performance against the Capital City Go-Go, but he is more efficient with his shot and had a couple games where he was getting the team involved.

While Sekou Wiggs hasn't seen much playing time this season (13.1 minutes per game), he has shown to be an aggressive defender and can fit in offensively. He has shown to be an asset off the bench and had a few solid games when he stepped in the starting rotation last season. Devon Baulkman is known for his defensive instincts and his energy he brings to the team. Baulkman has shown that his presence on the defensive end can spark offense for the Knicks.

When Kornet was with the team on assignment, he was able to have some productive games and helped lead Westchester to some victories. His presence down low and ability to stretch the floor has added value to the team.

Fourth-year head coach Mike Miller, who has coached New York’s Summer League team for the past three seasons, has instilled a defensive presence on his teams over the years. Miller feels the team is off to a good start due to the presence of the returning players.

“I think it helps a lot,” Miller said. “I think there’s two things that can really help you. If you’re really talented or you’ve got guys back that had success and I think we’ve got a mix of that. I think we’ve got the talent. We’ve got the returning guys, so I think that’s kind of helped us get off to a good start.”

Hicks, who has spent 18 games with Westchester this season, believes the team has a great feel for each other.

“We have a great feel for each other when we just come out and play,” Hicks said. “When we are at our best is when we’re playing together and I feel like that’s the biggest think that’s helping us win.”