The New York Knicks overcame cold shooting against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night but will have an opportunity to bounce back with a strong performance against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
The Knicks only scored 96 points against Minnesota, with the highest scorer being Mitchell Robinson with 14 points. The big man has enjoyed a tremendous increase in stamina after being bogged down by his muscle mass to start the year. Only two weeks ago, Robinson indicated he was having trouble providing a consistent effort, but it seems as if he’s finally hitting in stride.
Not only did Robinson contribute 14 points, a team-high, he also posted 18 rebounds, a season-high. The rest of the Knicks had to contribute in a minor way to propel them to victory, with a Quentin Grimes posting 11 points off the bench.
However, New York will look to the Pistons, a team that has won just five games this season, to try and correct their shooting woes. Detroit is currently on a three-game losing streak, with their last win coming against the Miami Heat.
In their most recent game, the San Antonio Spurs posted 144 points on Detroit without any overtime play. As of December 26, Detroit has been without Josh Jackson, Cory Joseph, and rookie Cade Cunningham.
If Detroit doesn’t return, some of them are more prominent players, the Knicks should walk over them without much resistance. Ever since the return of Kemba Walker, New York has seen more energy and effort displayed on the court. They’ve held their last two opponents to 88 points or less, showing a massive increase in defensive efficiency.
Luckily, Tom Thibodeau’s squad is getting a bit healthier and returning multiple young players. Grimes is a great example of a young contributor, recording three consecutive games with double-digit point production and at least 25 minutes of play. He’s also hitting on 42.9% from 3-PT range during that span and boasts a 103.6 defensive rating.
Expect dominance from Julius Randle and Kemba Walker against Detroit, but Thibs will want to get his reserves some action to provide the starters with rest against a weak opponent and back-to-back games.