Photo courtesy of Westchester Knicks.
By David Cordova
Now that the NBA season is underway, it’s time for another season to start. The season in question is that of the NBADL (National Basketball Association Development League), the minor league affiliate of the NBA.
The format of the D-League, as it is commonly referred to, is similar to the way that Major League Baseball does with its minor leagues. It is an opportunity for many hopefuls that were either overlooked in the NBA Draft, players that are still trying to reach the goal of playing in the NBA or better yet, former NBA players that are trying to make a comeback or players that were sent down for assignment.
The main objective for these players is to advance. In last night’s game between the Westchester Knicks (affiliate of the New York Knicks) and the Long Island Nets (affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets), both teams showed plenty of heart and desire and an appetite for winning. However, it was only just a preseason game, just a tune-up before the real season starts in a week.
Westchester Knicks 107, Long Island Nets 103
In the beginning of the game, it was a battle between both teams. As both teams matched basket for basket. Donnie McGrath hit two three pointers to put the Nets up 18-11 with over 4:47 left in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw the Knicks get to within two, 31-28, but then the Nets came back with a run of their own, ignited by a couple of baskets by Dwayne Polee, Jr. (8 points), which brought them up ten, 38-28, with 7:15 left. Behind the scoring efforts of McGrath & Carrick Felix (13 points and 8 rebounds), the Nets took the double-digit lead into the half, leading 55-45.
As the third quarter went underway, the Knicks were determined to regain their lead back by scoring the first seven points of the half to cut the deficit to 58-52, with 9:31 left. However, the Nets continued to preserve their lead and brought it back to double digits, leading 71-60, with 4 minutes left in the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Knicks tried to make a comeback, only trailing by eight, 87-79, with 9:24 left in the quarter. Then Ron Baker (26 points) hit two threes to cut the Nets deficit to 87-85, with less than seven minutes left in the game. Moments later, a Marshall Plumlee (10 points and 10 rebounds) dunk tied the game at 89-89 with 5:38 left.
The rest of the fourth became a see-saw battle, as both teams matched basket for basket. But Devondrick Walker (20 points) hit a three to tie the game at 100-100 with 1:09 left in the fourth. Then Inglis made a power move to the basket & made a layup & a three-point play to bring the Knicks up 103-100 with 35.8 seconds left. That and a couple of free throws helped seal the deal in this preseason game.