The former New York Knicks superstar Kristaps Porzingis made his anticipated return to the Garden last night.Â The fans welcomed Porzingis back with a lot of trash talk, chants and boos all game.
Porzingis said that he “understands” why Knicks fans would be upset with him but that’s besides the fact anymore.Â Moving on.Â The Knicks won the final game of the 2 game series against the Dallas Mavericks and you would have thought it was a playoff game, 106-103.
The New York Knicks came out with a lot of fire but the crowd even more on one.Â The defense was fiery and the Knicks were hitting the shots.Â The tone was set by Frank Ntilikina.Â Porzingis drove down Broadway and tried to dunk but Ntilikina was not letting that happen.Â It was a blocking foul on Ntilikina but it was a clean block.
After the Mavs timeout, the Knicks were up 8-2 and you’d think they were on the verge of winning the NBA title.
The Knicks defense were energetic and all over-the-place throughout the entire game.Â There was a few times were boxing out was a major issue but the Knicks out-rebounded the Mavs 62-48.Â The Knicks also switched into a zone defense that, at times, was not that bad.Â The Mavs found the holes but it could have been a lot worse.
The offense was cooking especially from beyond the arc.Â The Knicks were 13-30, 44.7%.Â They weren’t shying away and why not.Â It there were hitting them then have at it.Â Whenever the Knicks needed a big three it was always Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis or Dennis Smith Jr.
Yes, Smith Jr.Â He had his best performance of the season in his second back back.Â Smith was able to create for the Knicks and even make shots.Â He defense wasn’t too shabby either.
The Mavs stayed in game thanks for Porzingis and Luka Doncic, who had a triple-double, but it wasn’t enough them.Â The Knicks hit big shots and didn’t fold.Â Fans could see the collapse coming but not this time.
It was partially thanks for the defense provided by Ntilikina in crunch time in the fourth.Â His defense at the end of the game is exactly why he needs to play because when they need there was Ntilikina.Â Also, the big shot hit by Morris sealed the game for the Knicks and the Garden erupted.
This was the best Knicks team performance of the season.Â Not going to say that this could be the start of a turn around but the Knicks played like the team we all thought they could be this season.Â Can it continue as they have two winnable games coming up against the Hornets and Cavaliers?Â We shall see but this win was very enjoyable.