The Knicks instill fear in the hearts of elite West Coast opponents ahead

new york knicks, julius randle
Feb 27, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks celebrates after drawing the foul late in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

When the New York Knicks demolished the Houston Rockets by 25 points on Sunday evening, most assumed the result. The Rockets are one of the worst teams in the NBA, if not the worst, so the Knicks blowing them out was nothing short of an expectation. However, the Memphis Grizzlies offered a different level of opponent, which didn’t stop New York from testing them to shred anyway.

Winning by 14 points, the Knicks have learned how to finish games, utilizing an astounding success percentage from downtown and defensive aggression. In the victory, Julius Randle posted 28 points, hitting 5-of-8 shots from 3-PT.

Randle’s counterpart, RJ Barrett, contributed 15, but it was veteran PG Derrick Rose that led the charge over 27 minutes, posting 25 points in the win. This team seems to get better and better every night, and while the Memphis Grizzlies are .500 on the season, they are no pushover. The Knicks limited star point guard Ja Morant to just eight points well below is 19.3 points per game on average. They showed off incredible defense once again, and the red-hot squad continues to dominate the opposition with little resistance.

The New York Knicks have not just a battle, but a war ahead:

However, a difficult string of games ahead should offer a more difficult scenario. They will face off against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday evening, a team lead by Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr.

The Knicks will need to be on their “A” game if they want to take down Denver, and immediately following that contest, they will travel to Phoenix and Los Angeles to take on the Clippers and Lakers. This will be their real test ahead of the postseason, proving they can play well against quality teams day in and day out. In fact, this might be the perfect scenario to set themselves up for the playoffs.

The Knicks currently sit in the fourth seed, 1.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and two games ahead of the Miami Heat. If they can hold on over the next two weeks, they won’t have to play into the playoffs but rather have an automatic entry.