Following a win over Detroit at home, the New York Knicks took their talents to Toronto to complete their back-to-back on the road. New York got some wonderful performances from their supporting cast, which they must rely on as the season progresses. Stepping up on defense as well, the Knicks showed more promise in this 119–106 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Studs: Jalen Brunson leads Knicks trio to victory
On the tail end of a back-to-back and being on the road, the performance from start to finish was next level by the Knicks. The trio of Brunson, Barrett, and Randle combined for 30 points in the first quarter. Jalen Brunson again finished with a team-high 22 points, setting the tone for the rest of the rotation as New York improved to 10-0 against teams under .500.
Studs: Knicks’ rotation contributes toward the win
Six of the Knicks’ nine rotation players scored double figures against Toronto. The New York Knicks rank in the top 10 in three-pointers made and had 16 made threes versus the Raptors, who had no answers for the duo of Josh Hart and Donte DiVincenzo on the perimeter. Combing for 38 points total and ten of the Knicks’ 16 triples, Hart and Donte have been overachieving in their roles this season.
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Studs: Julius Randle nearly posts a triple-double
The same narrative applies to the durability of Julius Randle’s game as of late. An impressive 20 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists from Randle on an efficient 8/15 from the floor shows his maturation as a leader. There is no need to overexert oneself every game when you have the talented roster he’s a part of.
The light shines on everyone when the team wins, and seeing Randle’s assist totals suggests a great camaraderie amongst Knicks teammates. New York averages 23 assists per game for the year. This total ranks them in the bottom five across the association.
Against the Raptors, New York compiled a 30-assist night. Constant motion offense and making the extra pass saw a brilliant display of offensive efficiency from the Knicks.
Duds: Is it time to take Quentin Grimes out of the starting lineup?
The Quentin Grimes narrative on his starting role has gained traction on social media. Scoring four points in 21 minutes played, Grimes tends to disappear in the starting spot. Offensively, he has not performed to the level of Donte DiVincenzo or Josh Hart. The noise is only getting louder on Grimes as he shrinks in his current role.
Duds: RJ Barrett is still sluggish while returning from migraines
In his return home to Toronto, RJ Barrett was expected to have himself a game. Scoring in double figures, Barrett shot 6/18 from the floor against the Raptors.
Since his return from migraines, Barrett has shot only 34% from the field. The inconsistency has been slightly alarming, but the Knicks have been winning games. Winners of three straight as well as seven of their last ten games, the defensive presence, and growing basketball IQ from Barrett has won in ways that don’t show up on the box score.
Knicks preparing for tough matchup with the Bucks
The Knicks have a well-rested weekend before going on the road to face the Milwaukee Bucks. The duo of Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have looked anything but dynamic so far this season. Sitting exactly one game better than the Knicks currently, this upcoming game is a statement one for New York. The opportunity to join winning conversations is right on the other side of Tuesday night.