Knicks make major statement with demolition of Chicago

rj barrett, julius randle, new york knicks
Apr 16, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) celebrates with guard RJ Barrett (9) during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks made a major statement on Wednesday evening, dominating the Chicago Bulls by a score of 113-94. The Bulls have struggled this year to remain relevant and are currently without star guard Zach LaVine. They were unable to get anything going on offense, with Nikola Vucevic leading the team with 26 points.

However, the Knicks proved something significant in the victory, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. After a loss to the Phoenix Suns, snapping a nine-game win streak, there were slight fears that the end of a successful string of games would demoralize the squad, but that wasn’t the case.

In the victory, Julius Randle heard MVP chants once again, posting 34 points and seven rebounds, shooting about 50% from the field. His partner in crime, RJ Barrett, recorded 22 and seven rebounds, showcasing efficiency in the shooting category. The entire starting five had positive +/-.

You know it was a good game when the entire bench was able to earn a few minutes on the floor, and eighth overall pick Obi Toppin seems to be getting some confidence, playing in 11 minutes and scoring four points.

This victory doesn’t change anything for the Knicks, though, as they currently maintain the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta Hawks are one game back and Boston Celtics two games, giving them a slight cushion. Luckily, Atlanta was blown out by the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, but Boston secured a victory. The Knicks will face off against a lowly Houston Rockets team they should crush with ease, and then they will take on the Memphis Grizzlies, who are a .500 team.

“Nothing changes,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after the win “Don’t get lost. For us let’s get out work done tomorrow and get ready for Houston when the ball goes up.”

However, the Knicks have a slight break, as they will face off against the Rockets on Sunday evening, giving them a few days of rest to battle fatigue as they had into the postseason in just a few weeks. The Knicks do have a difficult West Coast trip where they have to face off against the Clippers and Lakers, and if the squad can extract even one victory from that difficult road trip, it will be seen as a major positive. Nonetheless, it will offer them a good test and look at what the postseason will feel like, aggressive play against fantastic teams with star players.