The New York Knicks started off their preseason by beating the Detroit Pistons 90-84 in a close win. The game was played sloppy by both New York and Detroit as it was the first game played for both teams this season.
The Knicks outscored Detroit 22 to 18 in the first quarter. Detroit outscored the Knicks 29 to 26 in the second quarter. Then, the Knicks outscored Detroit 26 to 14 in the third quarter. Finally, the Pistons outscored the Knicks 23 to 16 in the fourth quarter.
Knicks Team Stats Vs Pistons
You can automatically see head coach Tom Thibodeau focus with the Knicks which is enforcing on-ball and interior defense. The Knicks tallied up an impressing 6 blocks and 12 steals. They also held Detroit to 32 percent shooting from the field and caused 22 turnovers.
The Knicks beyond the arc shooting was rather abysmal as they shot five for 23 as a collective team, measuring to 21.7 percent. Also the Knicks shot poor from the free-throw line, averaging just a mere 47 percent. Therefore, this was a bad shooting performance from the Knicks.
However, the Knicks outrebounded the Pistons 54-41 with a lot of hustling from the players. Also, the Knicks assisted 23 of the 90 points they scored. The Knicks need to do a better job conserving the ball as they had 24 turnovers as well.
An impressive performance everyone noticed was rookie Obi Toppin’s performance. Toppin added 11 points with seven rebounds on 44.4 percent shooting from the field. Toppin had an outburst offensively scoring most of his points in one-on-one isolations in the post and transition. With this being said, Toppin first needs to improve his defense as he struggled and made mistakes with matchups against Blake Griffin. Overall, an exciting performance as fans will grow more excited to see how Toppin finishes the preseason.
A good sight of improvement is RJ Barrett’s performance. Barrett provided a team-high 15 points with five rebounds on 43.8 percent shooting from the field. Although, RJ Barrett continued to struggle from beyond the arc, missing all of his four attempts. Barrett started the game very shaky going 0 for 6 and even air balling some wide-open threes. Since then, he adjusted and went seven for ten to finish the game. Barrett drove strongly to the rim getting most of his points there. Altogether, a good performance from RJ Barrett as he picked up his early game struggles later in the game.
A surprising performance from center Nerlens Noel. Noel added 10 points with eight rebounds and two blocks on an efficient 71.4 percent shooting from the field. Many people were questioning the decision to start Noel over Mitchell Robinson as Robinson has already been on the team for two years and Noel just signing with the Knicks this offseason. Noel produced on both sides of the floor as Tom Thibodeau and Knicks fans are for sure impressed.
Players worth mentioning as they also played good games consists of Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr., Mitchell Robinson, and Julius Randle. Elfrid Payton had an all-around good game including 10 points with six rebounds and seven assists on 45.5 percent shooting from the field. Frank Ntilikina had a good bench performance adding seven points with five rebounds on 40 percent shooting from the field. Dennis Smith Jr. showed significant improvement in his shooting form and ball movement adding seven points with two steals on 42.9 percent shooting.
Mitchell Robinson had a monster interior and on-ball defensive game off the bench providing four steals with two blocks.
Julius Randle had a good statistic game adding 11 points with eight rebounds, six assists, and two steals on 45.5 percent shooting from the field.