Studs and Duds from Knicks’ blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) looks to drive past Charlotte Hornets guard Ish Smith (14) in the second quarter at Madison Square Garden
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks handled business in the final of their three-game home stretch. The Charlotte Hornets were in town, and they might as well have stayed in their warmups. The Knicks’ excellent depth was on display in a cruise of a contest Sunday afternoon as New York blew out the Hornets for a 129–107 win

Studs: Jalen Brunson shoots with efficiency

The Knicks jumped out of the gate, starting 4/5 from the floor against a lackadaisical Hornets defense. Jalen Brunson started 4/4 from the field for 10 points in the first quarter, finishing with 20 points in the contest.

Studs: Mitchell Robinson continues his DPOY campaign

A soon-to-be candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, Mitchell Robinson is seventh all-time in most offensive boards through eight games in NBA history. The stellar presence of the Knicks on defense lives up to the top-three defensive rating in the association. Incredible tenacity on the part of their front court left the Hornets with no answers as New York was executing defense to offense seamlessly. 

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Studs: Immanuel Quickley shows off his playmaking skills

Immanuel Quickley’s rise in playmaking insinuates he is much better than the role he plays, yet the Knicks’ depth is so extensive on any given game that Quickley finds more advantages against the defense. Accumulating 12 points in 12 minutes, then finishing with 17 points and nine assists, Quickley is displaying his high IQ and fast-paced fundamentals, adding great variety to the Knicks’ rotations.

Studs: The Knicks abandon isolation basketball, add up 25 team assists

The Knicks as a team had 25 assists, further cementing their abandonment of predominant isolation basketball. This stems from the fact New York has players progressing in their IQ as well as adding high-IQ players to the system. An incredible passing volume has New York undefeated in games where they obtain 20 or more assists. 

Knicks: RJ Barrett and Julius Randle are a deadly duo

The second half saw the Knicks starting the third quarter up 21 and ending it up 20 points. With great offense on display in transition, New York maintained a dominant lead in the second half.

Led by Julius Randle, who finished with 23 points in the contest, most of his work came in the second half. Operating great and leading by example was RJ Barrett. Finishing with 24 points on the contest, Barrett is averaging 22 points on 50% from three through nine games.

All three of Barrett, Randle, and Brunson scored 20 or more and put on a show as the Knicks blew the Hornets out of the building. 

Duds hard to find in a dominant victory

In such a dominant win, duds aren’t the easiest to find. The Knicks did what they were supposed to do and are currently surpassing many’s expectations. The national narrative that the Knicks need to make a move may be the only dud of this contest. The current Knicks regime is sensational, and any act to alter them will not be effective outside of the top 10 players.

Lamelo Ball had himself a dominant first half, being the engine for Charlotte following an early exit from rookie Brandon Miller. Scoring ten straight and finishing with 32 on the Knicks means defense must be tighter on him in the future as Ball matures and grows his game. The Knicks have a showdown in TD Garden tomorrow night with all hands on board.