For the first time this season, the New York Knicks have won four consecutive games, beating the Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday evening.
Against New Orleans, the Knicks won by a 10 point margin but didnâ€™t get the showcase they expected from point guard Lonzo Ball. Ball is an expected free-agent target for New York this upcoming off-season, and while he didnâ€™t feature in the contest, there is a reason to believe he will be one of their top targets.
Nonetheless, the Knicks didn’t take it easy on New Orleans, who entered the game with a three-game win streak themselves. In fact, in the last two games, they had scored no less than 116 points, but the Knicks limited them to just 106.
Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram posted a majority of the Pelicans’ scoring production, totaling 53. As for the Knicks, the love was spread around, with Julius Randle earning 32 and Alec Burks posting 21 off the bench.
Burks has been an absolute menace for New York this season, especially in the fourth quarter. He shot 7-of-12 from the field and 4-of-7 from downtown, hitting all three of his free throws. He also picked up seven rebounds over 22 minutes played. On the season, Burks is averaging 12.4 points on .410 shooting from the field and .403 from downtown. Heâ€™s averaging a career-high 4.9 attempts from three, which indicates how successful heâ€™s been from range.
The veteran guard is currently on a one-year, $6 million deal with New York, and they might consider extending him for next season based on his performance. He is nearly 30 years old, and will be entering the 10th season in the NBA, but as a former first-round pick back in 2011, it is clear he has plenty of value to offer.
He reminds me a bit of JR Smith back in the day when he won the sixth man award. His ability to come off the bench and create instant offense is special, and very valuable.