There were many memorable moments that took place during the 2017-18 NBA G League season in White Plains, New York. The Westchester Knicks put together a record season, highlighted by their 32 wins and five call ups. Westchester also proved that development was a main focus, as four Knickerbockers suited up with Westchester during the season.
Moving forward, let’s take a look at some of the top moments from this season in Westchester.
5. Rookie Versus Coach
Earlier this season, Xavier Rathan-Mayes challenged assistant coach Keith Bogans to an one-on-one match-up and inscribed writings on his shoes. The two later squared off prior to the team’s season finale against the Erie BayHawks.
4. Damyean Dotson Pulls A Double Header
In the final game of November, Dotson became the 11th player to play in an NBA and G League on the same day. Dotson played 40 minutes in a matinee game against the Maine Red Claws and managed to shoot the ball well. He finished with 23 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Later that day, the rookie guard suited up for the New York Knicks and provided five points in five minutes.
3. Increased Opportunity In Westchester
As the Westchester Knicks started to lose players throughout the season, others stepped up and filled the void that was left behind. Paul Watson played a huge role as the campaign progressed, especially on the defensive end. Billy Garrett’s role increased, too. When Isaiah Hicks and Luke Kornet saw more time in the NBA, Adam Woodbury and Jordan Henriquez became effective forces down low.
Sekou Wiggs and Zak Irvin were great mid-season acquisitions and fit in perfectly with Westchester due to their defensive energy and versatility. Devon Baulkman played a role in the team’s defense and took great pride on that end of the floor. Even though Buay Tuach didn’t see much action due to the depth, he had some productive games when he saw extended action.
2. Franchise Record Season
The Knicks recorded a franchise-record 32 wins. Trey Burke broke Doron Lamb and John Jenkins’ record for most points in a game when he scored 43 points against the Delaware Blue Coats. Burke earned the Player of the Week honors twice and Player of the Month for December. The Knicks’ guard finished third in the G League Most Valuable Player voting and was named to the Midseason All-G League Team. Burke, along with Luke Kornet, made the All-NBA G League Third team, while Nigel Hayes was earned a spot on the All-G League Rookie Team. Westchester head coach Mike Miller was named the Coach of the Year. It was a collective effort throughout the season and that was evident based off the team’s win total and individual honors.
1. Preparation For The Big Stage
The Knicks continued to show that they were able to put their players in the best position to succeed. They were the only team in the NBA G League to have all five prospects from their entire opening night starting five later appear in the NBA.
For a veteran like Burke, Westchester gave him the opportunity to reestablish himself and show that he was an NBA guard. He demonstrated that he could score with ease and wasn’t afraid to draw contact at the rim.
Burke made huge strides in his perimeter game and was able to show he could be a leader to a young team. He made 42% of his threes on more than two makes per game.
Luke Kornet also made a seamless transition in his debut when he recorded 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Isaiah Hicks had some great games in the second half of the season and capped it off with a noteworthy performance in the final game.
Nigel Hayes and Xavier Rathan-Mayes grew tremendously in their rookie seasons. Hayes became one of the top three-point shooters in the G League, which he attributed to former Knicks’ assistant coach Kurt Rambis. Rathan-Mayes benefited from playing alongside Trey Burke and relished his new opportunity to run the team when Burke departed for the NBA.