Did you know that it is possible to have fun as a New York Knicks fan? Last night might have been the most fun I’ve had watching this team since Carmelo Anthony left.
In their preseason finale with the Cleveland Cavaliers, we witnessed real ball movement on offense started by Kentucky rookie Immanuel Quickley. After a couple of hot shooting exhibitions and Elfrid Payton being sidelined with an injury, IQ started his first NBA game. He took advantage of the opportunity by not only scoring the basketball, but moving the ball around and leading the Knicks to a 40 point first quarter.
New York also showed an intensity throughout the game on the defensive end. After a 13-point fourth quarter in the front-half of the back-to-back with Cleveland, the Knicks held their own throughout the game. Allowing just 35 first half points and once led 103-57.
Kevin Knox maintained his hot shooting over the last two games alongside fellow Wildcat Immanuel Quickley. With a true drive and kick point guard, Knox is finding more open looks for catch-and-shoot threes. This has opened up a renaissance in the third year player’s game. Knox made six of his seven three attempts and ended the game as the team’s second highest scorer.
New York ended the game with six players in double figure scoring as well as six players with double digit +/-. Quickley had a game-high 22 points as well as five steals and five assists. Four of the five starters ended the game with a +/- over 40. Coach Tom Thibodeau and the fans got their first looks at Iggy Brazdeikis, Bryce Brown, Jared Harper, Theo Pinson, and Myles Powell. Harper served as the backup point guard, and received the most minutes of the group.
Coach Thibs kept several players out of the closeout exhibition. Including: Frank Ntilikina (Achilles), Nerlens Noel (knee), Elfrid Payton (hamstring), Austin Rivers (groin), Alec Burks (personal), Omari Spellman (knee), and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (illness).
The Knicks open the season at the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at 7:00pm.