The Knicks pummeled the Cavaliers until there was no pulse and then burned the remnants to a fan-less Madison Square Garden on Friday, giving Cleveland the likes of Cloebanding, 119–83, a strong overall defensive effort and Immanuel Quickley Behind the beautiful performances from. Kevin Knox.
New York led by more than 49 at one point, a nearly 50-point lead, which seems impossible for the Knicks, but, well, here we are. With the win, the Knicks finish 3–1 Prescon, and for the first time in a few years, feel like tangible hope. Certainly, the Knights played a Cavs team tonight without Andre Drummond and Kevin Love, and yes, the Cavs are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year, much like the Knicks. But as Stanley Hudson would say, shake your butt.
Weirdly enough, the preseason probably would not have ended on such a high note if not for some of our precious Nax bruises.
Injury report vs Cav: Out – Burke (personal cause), Kid Gilchrist (illness), Nitlikina (left ankle sore), Noel (left knee pain), Patton (left knee joint), River (right right waist) , Smith Jr. (sore left quad) and Spellman (below right knee).
– NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) December 18, 2020
With all the point guards out of commission, however, Quickley was given the opportunity to start at point guard, and quickly picked up where he left the team’s previous 100–93 win over Cleveland. From the jump, it was clear that Quickley felt confident. He checked the paint, moved the ball and, including two thrashes from each of his first three shots, put the Knicks up 17–5 in a few minutes into the game.
It wasn’t just quickie, though. RJ Barrett showcased his effortless mid-range play, while continuing to prove adept at getting in line … only he gets his free throw hitting this precision, which gets him to defend and try. Creates very different monsters for. Meanwhile, Reggie Bullock was abla, Michelle Robinson playing well while avoiding dishonesty, and Julius Randall wanted to cook the dish instead of dizzying himself.
Even Jared Harper got into action, earning his first preseason minutes as a backup point guard and immediately made a four-point play play. By the end of the first quarter, the Knicks were 41-18.
The second quarter was more of the same, except that Knox led the charge. Tom Thibodo has done a lot of talk about how he wants Knox to take smart shots, and tonight he did just that. Each of Knox’s jumpers came within the flow of the offense, and through the third he had already hit three of three four-pointers. He was splashing around in the pool like his annoying brother, who keeps on shattering even after you agreed to tru.
At halftime, the Knicks led 72–35, and for the first time at a dog age, it seemed reasonable to feel confident that they would not let Cleveland return to the game. For the record, Quickley had 15 points and had 4 styles in the half, and Knox had 12 points on 4-6 from the field.
In the third quarter, nothing changed again. The Cavs’ tank was still empty, while the Knicks showed a new set of young legs eager to show their ability. Barrett and Robinson continue to showcase the best chemistry seen on TV since Breaking Bad.
Quickly’s 20th night point hit a sting if you were wondering if slams were part of his arsenal.
With just over a minute to go in the third minute, the Sixers’ sixth three gave the Knights a 101-54 lead. Walt Clyde Frazier said that the shots were “falling like rain” for the former Kentucky Wildcats, which one could have nowadays, but you know this is related to Knox thanks to the magic of the context.
In the fourth quarter, the rest of the bench got to play, meaning we were given the chance to see Ignas Brezdikis, Miles Powell and even Bryce Brown. In most matches, the losing team ends up cutting late in the lead, and the final score is usually not as bad as the rest of the game. Here, while the Knicks had the above edge of 49 points, they still won by 36, which is really important.
> So this is what it feels like when the team you root for is playing really well. It’s fun while watching your favorite basketball team.
> For the most part, Knox only took shots in the rhythm of the offense as previously mentioned. Late in the evening, his patience was rewarded.
> Mitchell Robinson said he could handle the responsibility of getting started just fine. The Blockiness Monster finished on the floor in 27 minutes with 8 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Most importantly, he did not commit a single dishonesty.
> Barrett was on a 5-5 free throw. He totaled 15 points, 5 rebellions, 2 assists and 3 steals. He looks very good.
> Obi Toppin played fine (6 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists on 2-5 shooting, but 2 turnovers), and an up and down season is expected, with hopelessly more promise. Toppin was running the baseline and was very close before starting the Wild pass to pass Oh which was actually quite accurate.
If OB Toppin can run a baseline and get a pass like this on a regular basis, it would make me feel better to pick him up at Nax 8. pic.twitter.com/TFKwqmZwZF
– Daniel Allinger (@dan_olinger) 17 December 2020
> Brazedicis ojase potential. In 17 minutes, he had 1 point (0-2 shooting), 5 boards, 2 assists and a block. Those stats won’t blow you, but he’s just a confident fellow who can handle the ball and make the right pass. Here’s hoping he gets a role this season.
> Randle was Randle’s version we all wish we could see on a regular basis. He had 11 points and 8 assists in just 24 minutes of action, and was very clearly focused on passing when he suited up in the lane.
> The MVP of the night was Emmanuel Quickley, who had 22 points in 7–12 shooting, including 3-5 from deep. He also committed 5 assists and 5 steals.
Jey Van Halen summarized it on behalf of Knicks fans everywhere: ‘I love the IQ & Barrett backcourt. It’s beautiful ‘
The Knicks kicked off Wednesday in the regular season on December 23 at 7 pm against the Pacers in Indiana. Who knows what the starting lineup looks like? Definitely not us. For now, let’s just enjoy this amazing victory.