The New York Knicks close out their four-game preseason with a second win against the Cavaliers. Everything seemed to click for New York as they won 83-119. Immanuel Quickley, Kevin Knox, and RJ Barrett all had impressive games against a weakened Cavs side. Here are the highlights and takeaways.
Immanuel Quickley Gets His First Start
Although there was a lack of depth at the point guard spot, Immanuel Quickley shined as he started his first game this preseason. He ended his game with 22 points, along with five assists. However, his statistics weren’t what influenced the game the most: his energy was. Quickley brought energy to everyone he played alongside and exhausted his opponents. The former Kentucky Wildcat seemed to link up perfectly with everyone on the team and will have a chance to start against the Pacers.
Kevin Knox Proves He Has Some Potential
For the second consecutive game, Kevin Knox has proved that he has what it takes to compete in New York. The third-year small forward ended the game with 20 points on six of seven from behind the arc. Throughout the preseason, Knox has been a deadly three-point shooter and will hope to keep up his run of form when the season officially starts. However, Knox’s defensive struggles continued this game. He was a liability on the defensive end and will need to improve if he wants to become a starter.
Jared Harper and Theo Pinson: Unlikely heroes
Because there were many rested Knick players, Jared Harper and Theo Pinson were equally given good minutes. Jared Harper was a great player off the bench and seemed to emulate Quickley’s game well. Harper will likely struggle to find minutes throughout the season because of the multitude of guards in New York. However, this gave Tom Thibodeau a better sense of what to expect from him this season. Theo Pinson was also a great surprise off the bench. He was able to play consistently good defense and was a good role player off the bench.
Expect Harper and Pinson to find themselves in the G-League.
Tom Thibodeau’s Coaching Is Kicking In
Over the preseason, the Knicks have been an enjoyable team to watch due to their gritty nature and good ball movement. This is in large part due to new head coach Tom Thibodeau. Defensively, the Knicks look like a rejuvenated team in comparison to last season. Forcing turnovers, and not giving easy shots to opponents has helped them tremendously thus far. On the offensive end, Thibodeau ensures his team only takes good shots and has stressed rebounding. Every game this season has seen an improvement compared to last season and Thibodeau will hope this continues through the regular season.
The Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers in the season opener on Wednesday. They’ll hope to continue their momentum and begin their season strong.