After more than a week of exciting on-court action, the 2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League championship is set. The New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers will square off Sunday afternoon for the title after both teams finished their qualifying slate with a 3-1 record. While five other teams — Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls — also finished with a 3-1 record, total point differential was used as a tiebreaker, and the Knicks and Blazers advanced as they had the largest point differentials of all the 3-1 teams.
The Knicks and Trail Blazers already met once this summer in Vegas, with Portland besting New York 88-77 on July 11. Knicks guard Quentin Grimes led all scorers in that game with 24 points while forward Trendon Watford paced Portland with 18 points and six rebounds. The Blazers will obviously be looking to pull out a repeat performance in the championship game, while the Knicks will be trying to exact some revenge.
The Knicks have never won a Summer League title before, while the Blazers last claimed the crown in 2018. With that said. here’s a look at the viewing information and a couple of storylines ahead of the this year’s championship game between Portland and New York.
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2022 NBA Summer League Championship
Date: Sunday, July 17 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Thomas & Mack Center — Las Vegas, Nevada
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Knicks: The story of the summer for New York has been the play of Grimes. As a rookie last season, Grimes appeared in 46 games and averaged six points, two rebounds and an assist in 17.1 minutes per game. This summer, he’s displayed an ability to score at a higher level as he’s averaged 23.5 points for New York — good for fourth among all players who’ve played in Vegas — while also adding 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 steals per performance. He still has one more game to perform in, but with his play this summer, Grimes seems to be indicating he could be poised for a larger role with the Knicks in the coming campaign.
Blazers: Portland will be looking to climb back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference next season, so it’s been combing its summer squad for players who can contribute in the short term. One player in particular appears to fit the bill. Keon Johnson was a first-round pick last year who the Blazers traded for prior to the deadline, and he’s had a solid summer. Johnson has averaged 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in Summer League while shooting 48 percent from the filed and an impressive 40 percent from long range. With his ability to space the floor, Johnson could potentially work his way into Portland’s regular rotation.
The Blazers got the best of the Knicks in the first meeting between the two teams this summer, but the Knicks will get their revenge in this one. As a team, New York has scored 95.3 points per game in the summer, which is third in the league behind only the Celtics and Bucks. The Blazers, on the other hand, have scored substantially less at 84 points per game. Thus, it might be tough for Portland to keep pace offensively. Look for Grimes to have another big game to close out his solid summer slate and help the Knicks raise their first Summer League banner.