Raptors 905 @ Westchester Knicks – Friday 23 December 2016

It was the Knicks last game before Christmas and the festive spirit was in full flow. The Knicks had gone all out to make sure Santa was present for the smaller attendees. They also had a special winter hat giveaway for the first 1000 fans through the door. Presents for almost all. The Westchester Knicks are the d-league affiliate of the New York Knicks and they know how to put on a show, very much taking the lead from their basketball ‘big brothers’. They have cheerleaders, in the style of the Knicks Dancers, a mascot (Hudson the dog) and frequent entertainment during the game breaks including t-shirt giveaways and competitions for children.

The entertainment highlight on this occasion was the half court shot, the guy made it and the entire place erupted.

The Westchester Knicks had access to some of the NY Knicks players for this game (N’dour, Baker and Plumlee), so the fans were treated to discounted performances from some NBA stars in addition to the d-league stars. This doesn’t happen at every game but it also not unusual in a league that allows the NBA teams to send players down and recall them as needed.  
There are some talented players on this team – most notably Crawford (he’s small but he’s fast with a wicked three point shot), Randle (I would not be surprised if he is in the NBA next season) and Wafer.

The Knicks had some good plays but they seemed to run out of energy on too many occasions. It also has to be said that while the NBA players got good minutes they did not live up to expectations and were pretty much outplayed by the d-league players (this may have been because they had assumed it would have been an easier game).

The Westchester County Centre is a friendly local centre that feels like home. I don’t know what the venue is used for on non game nights but I can imagine that it is very much part of the local community.

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