New York Knicks Kevin Knox
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks opened up summer league play with a win over the Atlanta Hawks. Here are four takeaways from the victory.

The NBA summer league gets a bad rap. The critics say that nobody plays defense and the competition is weak. The New York Knicks got their first taste on Saturday and proved that notion incorrect in a 91-89 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

The brain trust of Steve Mills, Scott Perry and David Fizdale looked on from the stands as the young Knicks put on a show offensively while simultaneously playing tough defense against Atlanta rookie Trae Young en route to a victory.

But summer league is just exhibition games. It’s more about how the players look than the final result. The Knicks had a lot to like about how they looked on Saturday. Here’s five takeaways from the opener.

1. Hard not to overreact to Kevin Knox

Everyone loved what they saw from Kevin Knox on Saturday. The No. 9 overall pick finished with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in an impressive Knicks debut.

Knox racked up the highlights with dunk after dunk. His first bucket was a coast to coast slam on a fast break that he led himself. Knicks Twitter exploded with excitement, and rightfully so, about Knox’s performance following this moment.

Even before the Knicks drafted Knox, we heard about his ability to finish at the rim, dunk and run the floor. If Saturday’s game is any indication, Knox has been undervalued as a defender. That was supposed to be his greatest weakness.

I told you it would be hard not to overreact to Kevin Knox.

I'm ESNY's Executive Editor for I cover the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Email: Chip Murphy covers the NBA for Elite Sports NY. You can find him on Twitter @ChipperMurphy.