Studs and Duds from Knicks’ preseason loss to the Timberwolves

New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) three point shot against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wendell Moore Jr. (7) and forward Josh Minott (8) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With rumors and speculation being the engine of the off-season, no team has attracted more headlines than the New York Knicks. Media headlines preceding the game indicated, there has been interest in getting Karl Anthony-Towns to the Big Apple.

Following their win over Boston, the Knicks were again at home, led by Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, looking to improve their cohesion and take another win in the preseason. But the Blue and Orange walked away with disappointing results against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Stud: RJ Barrett lights up the opening quarter

The opening quarter saw 15 points scored by star forward RJ Barrett, taking advantage of the visiting Timberwolves often and early. By committee, the Knicks displayed great passing and defense, leading to easy buckets in transition.

Stud: Donte DiVincenzo shows talent on both ends of the court

The second quarter saw Donte DiVincenzo put on a clinic, and he will quickly become a fan favorite with his tenacity and IQ on the defensive end.

Dud: Front-court defensive depth

The lack of front-court depth defensively showed on the Knicks’ part with Naz Reid scoring 17 in the first half for Minnesota.

Stud: Evan Fournier boosts his trade value

Evan Fournier made his presence felt as well with a big-time corner three to cap a 17-5 run by New York. As many rumors are circulating, keeping Fournier with fresh legs is essential if the Knicks look to move on from him at any point this season. 

Studs: Randle and Robinson look like they’re in midseason form

The Knicks came out in the third quarter with tremendous pace. The front court of Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson’s intensity was in midseason form as they anchored the Knicks’ defense. An emphatic block on KAT set the tone, but the Knicks missed the services of Jalen Brunson on the offensive end in the second half.

Stud: Miles “Deuce” McBride couldn’t miss

With the majority of starters sitting, RJ Barrett went to work with Immanuel Quickley to close the third quarter. The fourth was much of the reserves but high praise to Miles McBride with a tremendous 16 points in 11 minutes played on 100% shooting. 

Dud: The Knicks’ half-court game plan

The Knicks’ usual reliance on the isolation game was not heavy in the playbook tonight. An incredible variety of fast break scoring, uptempo pacing, and transition defense allowed the Knicks to look formidable against any lineup the Timberwolves put against them.

Stud: Defensive tenacity

With 13 steals as a team, the tenacity on defense also seems to be in midseason form. RJ Barrett finished with a game-high 23 points on 9 of 12 from the free throw line. 

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