Trae Young trolled the New York Knicks by rocking his signature sneaker with the “King of Broadway” emblazoned. But the joke was on Young on Wednesday night as Quentin Grimes reduced him to a pauper king.
Grimes’ most complete game of the season helped the Knicks rout the shorthanded Atlanta Hawks, 113-89, in front of a raucous 18,901 Madison Square Garden crowd.
Grimes delivered his most complete performance this season, scoring a season-high 23 points while limiting Young to 19 points. The Knicks’ second-year wing hit five of seven three-pointers and added four rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in 31 minutes.
Young couldn’t lift the Hawks after Dejounte Murray exited in the opening minutes with an ankle sprain.
Julius Randle dominated the Hawks frontline without John Collins (ankle sprain) and Deandre Hunter (hip) with a monster game (34 points, 17 rebounds and five assists).
It was the second straight game the Knicks held their opponents to under 90 points.
Their shortened rotation with the Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and Miles McBride backcourt alignment had tightened their perimeter and point-of-attack defense.
After holding the Cleveland Cavaliers to 8 of 35 3-point shooting, the Knicks newfound defensive grit limited the Hawks to 6 of 36 3s.
McBride played a season-high 27 minutes and was a plus-19 despite scoring only three points. But he dished out six assists, also a season-high. Quickley added eight points, three boards and three dimes.
The Knicks’ defensive shift, a Thibodeau signature, have them sneaking back inside the top 10 of the Eastern Conference with a 12-13 record. But they were also sharp on the offensive end, hitting 17 of 36 3s for a season-high 47.2 percent.
“I thought a lot of those came off of guys cutting to create a rhythm for each other, doing something for someone else. It’s a different shot. So when we play like that, it’s gonna be good and we were strong on both sides of the ball.”Tom Thibodeau postgame via MSG Network
It took a while, but Thibodeau might have finally figured out the rotation that could give him a strong effort on both ends of the floor. And shortening rotation, as he said, gives them better rhythm.
It showed for the second straight game.
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