The New York Knicks opened up the preseason with a dominant offensive performance, putting up 104 points on the backs of Marcus Morris, RJ Barrett, and Taj Gibson. Morris managed to get ejected late in the game, but the Knicks still held on and enjoyed a positive start to their preseason against the Washington Wizards.
Of course, there were ups and downs in regards to the young players and veterans on the team. Third overall pick RJ Barrett struggled to begin the game, missing his first three attempts from beyond the arc. He finished 6-13 on field goals, 2-6 from three-point land, and scored 17 points with three assists.
One of the apparent positive trends for the Knicks was their ball movement and assist totals. Julius Randle earned seven assists on the night, an unlikely statistic considering his past averages.
Gibson, on the other hand, finished with five field goals made and two 3-pointers on four attempts. He totaled 16 points and accounted for 17 total rebounds on the night. The Knicks bench showed fantastic potential and the quality to fill in admirably for starting players.
New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale chooses the vets:
David Fizdale elected to sit several of his youth players in favor of veterans to start the preseason. This was a positive move considering the lack of chemistry the veterans currently have with one another.
Ensuring options like Marcus Morris and Julius Randle start the season with a bit of playing time under their belts is a great thing and will help them succeed during the regular season. The two combined for 28 total points and a plus-one turnover ratio. They also accounted for 26 total rebounds and nine assists.
Point guard Elfrid Payton also earned 25 minutes of action due to the injury picked up by Dennis Smith Jr. Payton receiving preseason playing time makes the starting point guard position battle a little bit more interesting.