The New York Knicks managed to get back to .500 tonight with a convincing win over the Wizards. Julius Randle had a dominant game as he finished with a staggering 37 points. New York dominated on both ends of the floor and were clearly the stronger side from the moment the game tipped off. The blowout at the Garden ended as 113-131, one of the strongest offensive games of the season. This win will bring the Knickerbockers to 22 wins, one more than the entirety of last season. Here are the takeaways.
Julius Randle and RJ Barrett continue to fire on all cylinders
Since the all-star break, Barrett and Randle have been a dominant offensive duo. Tonight, although the power forward stole the headlines, Barrett had a strong game as well. The Canadian 20-year-old finished with 20 points and 5 assists. Barrett has done well recently in getting to the rim as well as his overall shooting. If the young guard continues like this, he’ll be beneficial to bringing the Knicks a playoff spot.
Julius Randle was the showman at the Garden tonight. With 37 points and six rebounds, Washington had no answers for the All-Star. The power forward was aggressive in the paint and had a strong shooting game as well. With recent controversial games that led to New York losses, Julius Randle was playing with a point to prove after being fined by the NBA earlier today.
Obi Toppin‘s struggles continue
With every game that Obi Toppin struggles in, Knick fans become more worried about their lottery pick. With this game against the Wizards, Toppin has now gone five games without recording a single point. Although the 23-year-old rookie is recieving limited minutes, he must show signs of life if he wishes to prove he belongs in The City That Never Sleeps. Toppin seems to lack confidence offensively and constantly looks to make a simple play rather than making a difference himself. Defensively, the forward looks naive and unprepared. Tom Thibodeau will have a lot of work to do to ensure his #8 pick isn’t a bust.
Knicks play with a point to prove
The past month has shown difficult results for New York. Starting with a heart-breaking end to a nail-biting Knicks-Nets game finished with a controversial call leading to a Julius Randle traveling violation. Just a day later, questions were asked when the Knicks couldn’t finish off what was supposed to be a routine win against the Joel Embiid-less 76ers. Lastly, just Sunday, the Knicks finished a game that brought the attention of all NBA fans. A weak call at the end of the Knicks-76ers matchup in New York gave Philadelphia the season sweep over Thibodeau’s men. Tonight, the Knicks seemed to be playing with a point to prove. They seemed aggressive and continuously put pressure on referees to make the right call. This paid off as the Knicks throttled D.C in their second encounter of the season.
The Knicks remain at home to face the Wizards once more on Thursday. Bradley Beal‘s side will be playing with a chip on their shoulder as they’ll be working hard to prove they’re much stronger than the side they were tonight.