The New York Knicks enjoyed a fantastic comeback win against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday evening, as they have embarked on an impressive winning streak lately, securing four victories over their last five games.
Against Atlanta, the stars of the contest were Julius Randle with 28 points and 17 rebounds, RJ Barrett with 26 points and 11 rebounds, and rookie guard Immanuel Quickley with 16 points off the bench. Ultimately, this was a team win, and considering the injuries that have plagued the squad this season, it attests to their strength and mentality under new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
â€œWe didnâ€™t play great but we found a way to win,â€ Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. â€œI love the fight in the team.â€
Good teams find ways to win games, and that is the reality in the NBA and in most sporting leagues. While it might be a bit premature to coin the Knicks as a good team, they undoubtedly have the spark necessary to compete against quality opponents. Atlanta is 4-3 on the season and started off the year with three consecutive wins, so they are no walk in the park.
â€œWeâ€™re mentally tough,â€ RJ Barrett said. â€œWe didnâ€™t let the one loss [on this trip, to Toronto in Tampa on New Yearâ€™s Eve] stop us. We had to fight for this one. Itâ€™s good to see how resilient our team is. Everyone plays with an edge. Everyone contributes and thatâ€™s been great so far.â€
The New York Knicks have a beautiful problem developing at point guard:
Aside from the Knicksâ€™ improbable start to the season, they have a great problem brewing at a point guard position. Starting the year with Elfrid Payton as their primary starter, he has averaged 13.6 points per game and 4.6 assists. However, Quickley is close behind, averaging 10 points and 1.3 assists over 15.3 minutes per game. He averages about half the minutes that Payton enjoys, so his point production really shines through.