On the tail end of a back-to-back, the New York Knicks went head-to-head with the Cavaliers once again. No RJ Barrett for this outing saw Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson assert themselves to an even higher degree. But it wasn’t enough this time as Donovan “Spida” Mitchell was alive and well in Madison Square Garden, leading the Cavs to a 95–89 win over New York.
Studs: Jalen Brunson leads the Knicks in the first half
Jalen Brunson captained the ship for the Knicks in the first half. A dominant display from Brunson in the midrange, he helped counter the mistakes made by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Brunson drew three offensive charges in the first half and 14 points to lead all scoring for the Knicks.
Duds: The defense couldn’t stop Donovan Mitchell from deep
Stars shine bright often in the Garden. Donovan Mitchell exploded for 23 points in the first half and went 5/5 from beyond the arc. Capitalizing on the lack of transition defense for the Knicks, role players such as Georges Niang took it upon themselves to attack the lack of assertiveness by New York.
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Duds: Julius Randle continues to struggle
Julius Randle had another poor shooting night for the Knicks. A slow start to the second half saw Randle shooting 3/15 overall, forcing many looks and not allowing the game to come to him.
The absence of Barrett suggested there would be a more aggressive Randle, but coming off an injury, the development of Randle’s game early should be predicated on relaying offense to enhance production and efficiency throughout the rotation.
Studs: Donte DiVincenzo helps slow down Donovan Mitchell
The Knicks did a great job containing Mitchell in the second half until the final two minutes of the contest. A huge three and capitalizing on an offensive board saw Mitchell put the game out of reach from the New York Knicks.
Icing Mitchell out until it was too late, the Knicks’ commitment to containing the lone star in Cleveland was fantastic for the majority of the second half.
Donte DiVincenzo has been a seamless fit defensively for Coach Thibodeau’s rotation. His high IQ and innate ability have brought an added element of variety to the team’s rotation required to compete with the best teams in the association.
Studs: Immanuel Quickley continues strong start to the season
Immanuel Quickley continues to impress as well, when Barrett is back in the rotation, the natural chemistry shared will also leave defenses at bay not knowing who in The Knicks’ tremendous depth will capitalize on a game-to-game basis.