The New York Knicks began the week with a scrappy win over an injury-filled Orlando Magic. Despite very poor shooting, finishing 35 percent from the field, they managed to pull through late in the fourth for their second consecutive win. RJ Barrett led the way for New York with 22 points and ten rebounds. The game finished 91-84 at Madison Square Garden. Here are the key takeaways.
Although an all-around ugly game, multiple Knicks were able to lead the Knicks to their second consecutive win. RJ Barrett played a big game, finishing with 22 points on nine of 19. He was aggressive and took advantage of his allotted minutes. Barrett has looked inconsistent this season thus far but impressed today.
Another big game came from Immanuel Quickley. Although he only added eleven points, his high energy was tremendous for the Knicks. The point guard continued to get everyone on the court involved and looked very good. The case to turn the rookie into a starter is strengthening every game.
A Messy Game
The Knicks had a very poor game shooting. They struggled to make their open shots and the ball movement wasn’t where it should have been. Julius Randle had difficulty converting as he went five of 19 from the field. However, despite the Knicks star playing poorly, RJ Barrett was able to pick up the load. This gritty Knicks team couldn’t produce offensively and seemed very tired. Nonetheless, the Magic played just as poorly as their opponents. Steve Clifford’s team shot just under the Knicks at 33 percent.
Knicks Rely On Their Defense
Despite a poor offensive game, the defense looked sharp. The Knickerbockers held the Magic to just 40 points in the first half to emulate a similar half against the Celtics the previous day. Tom Thibodeau’s men were able to cool down Nikola Vucevic after a hot start in the first quarter with a great defensive effort. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks struggled. to get stops against their visitors, however, managed to pull through at the end of the game. Mitchell Robinson starred on the defensive end with a commanding performance in the paint. The center forced the Magic to take difficult shots throughout the game and continued to impress.
The Knicks begin their road trip out West with a trip to San Francisco to face Stephen Curry and the Warriors. Tom Thibodeau and his squad will be given time to regroup and rest before a daunting trip that they’ll hope to create positive results from.