The NBA In-Season tournament continued as the Washington Wizards hosted the New York Knicks. An onslaught from New York saw the Knicks keep the lead for an entire contest. The Knicks are proving game by game that they are in the Eastern Conference contender conversations, winning the games they should handily. The Knicks blew out the Wizards 120–99 on Friday night.
Studs: Jalen Brunson has been stellar during RJ Barrett’s absence
Jalen Brunson took no time putting on a dominant display against the Wizards. With 11 points and 3/3 from downtown in the opening quarter, a Brunson-led blitz saw Washington never truly recover. Totaling 32 points in 33 minutes, Brunson’s leadership role on this Knicks team is a primary reason New York has sustained such dominance in Barrett’s absence.
In these past three games without Barrett, Brunson is averaging 27 points and six rebounds. That would be good for 10th best in the entire association. Averaging 23 on the year, Brunson is an incredibly versatile player whose bag is tremendous on all three levels, and he’s devoted to playing winning basketball. A sign of great things to come in New York City.
Studs: The Knicks’ depth continues to shine
The Knicks’ depth must be recognized for how flexible they’ve been, and how hard they have played. The matchup against Washington saw the absence of star RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes. The “next man up” mentality resonated, and New York has been that of a well-oiled machine. New York saw a tremendous performance from Donte DiVincenzo, totaling 14 points and a monster putback in extended minutes.
Miles McBride and even Evan Fournier had runs as the Knicks blew out the Wizards, winning their fifth consecutive game in Capital One Arena.
Studs: Immanuel Quickley takes over the 4th quarter
Immanuel Quickley was back near his hometown against D.C. and didn’t disappoint. Totaling 27 points on an astounding 66% true shooting, and taking over the 4th quarter, Quickley has dominated in stretches for the New York Knicks.
Currently second behind former Knick Tim Hardaway Jr in Sixth Man of the Year odds, expect Quickley to take the lead as the season progresses.
- Knicks’ Quentin Grimes puts on a show in reduced role
- Knicks getting interest on young point guard’s trade availability
- Studs and Duds: Knicks fall to Boston on the road
Studs: Julius Randle is looking like his old self again
Julius Randle getting back into form has been the catalyst for the Knicks. A slow build left fans in disarray, but Randle has looked like his All-NBA self as of late. Shooting 50% from the floor against Washington, Randle totaled 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Stuffing the stat sheet, and not being overly aggressive forcing his shot has been the difference in the Knicks now and starting the season. Averaging 25 points and eight rebounds over the past three games, that is precisely where Randle should coast for the entire season. His health is the most important thing, and he will be this team’s engine come playoff time.
Duds: Knicks still waiting on Barrett’s return to action
In a blowout win on the road, how much more can one ask for? Knicks fans’ only complaint is this monster migraine from RJ Barrett.
Missing five days of action, as well as three games, leaves room for concern, but Barrett was seen on the sideline against the Wizards, a very promising sign. In regards to Barrett, head coach Tom Thibodeau stated, “I don’t know if they were able to find out specifically what it was, but he was very sick.”
Takeaways from the Knicks’ blowout win over the Wizards
A night without Barrett, and once again, three Knicks players scored 20 or more points. That demonstrates incredible depth and is a testament to the great habits built by Coach Thibs and company in New York. The emergence of this young Knicks squad has been remarkable, and they look to only build from that upon Barrett’s return. The Knicks look to close out a back-to-back against Charlotte on Saturday night seeking another win on the road.