Despite his Mamba-esque shooting performance, Tim Hardaway Jr.’s free-throw shooting guided the Knicks past his former Hawks team in Atlanta for the Knicks’ fourth win of the season.

Good news for Knicks fans—the New York Knicks snapped a two-game slump en route to a gritty 112-107 win against the Atlanta Hawks.

The bad news? Half of their wins this season have come against the lowly Atlanta team.

Still, it was a promising win for the young Knicks squad after their deflating double overtime loss against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.


The Knicks’ “Veterans” Continue to Shine

The Knicks improved their record to 4-8 after another strong performances from Tim Hardaway Jr. (34 points, three assists, one rebound) and the newly christened sixth man Enes Kanter, who came one rebound shy of a double-double (17 points, nine rebounds) in the follow-up game to his impressive 23-point, 24-rebound and seven-assist night against the Bulls.

Alonzo Trier had yet another impressive performance, chipping in 16 points and four rebounds in 36 minutes of action. His play continues to suggest the Knicks brass will have a difficult decision on their hands once Trier’s 45 days of NBA action are up on his two-way deal. All signals point to Trier sticking on the roster for the remainder of the season, considering he’s entrenched as a go-to option off the bench for this young Knicks team.

Not to mention his latest highlight:

Whoops, sorry wrong clip. Classic mistake.

A Frank Ntilikina Sighting?

After struggling mightily over the last three games, shooting a combined 0-for-13 from three and lacking some of the aggression we started to see out of him since he was inserted as the lead point guard by head coach David Fizdale, Frank Ntilikina bounced back and outplayed Hawks’ lottery pick Trae Young. He put up a solid 14-5-3 stat line in just 23 minutes of action, before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. Frank shot 2-for-4 from three point range, and showed a couple of nifty moves, as well as some some confident handles against early ROY candidate Young. Young finished with 15-8-5, but had little success when guarded by Ntilikina, particularly in the first half, where he put up a scoring donut, along with just three assists.

Mudiay Entrenched as the Backup Point Guard?

One notable observation from tonight’s game was the lack of playing time from the Knicks’ starting point guard to start the season, Trey Burke. Burke didn’t see the court all night, as Emmanuel Mudiay got the nod as the first point guard off the bench after his impressive performance (well, sans one BIG play) against the Bulls. Despite a still-noticeable hitch in his shot, Mudiay shot 3-for-3 from three-point range and finished the game with a solid 11 points, three assists, and five rebounds. It’s fair to wonder if Fizdale, who is on the record as saying Mudiay is the team’s best passer, will continue utilizing the former Nugget as Frank’s primary backup going forward.

Vonleh Hot and Cold

Noah Vonleh looked like he was poised for a career game in the first quarter. The former lottery pick was scorching hot to start the game, putting up 11 points and nine rebounds in just nine minutes of action. However, after an extended trip to the bench that lasted until the seven-minute mark of the second quarter, Vonleh was unable to recapture his NBA Jam-esque shooting performance. Vonleh would not score another bucket for the rest of the game, and finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and two assists. Regardless, his activity on defense kept him in for the majority of the contest, as he logged a team-high 39 minutes.

Additional Knicks Notes

  • Coach Fizdale said Knox would play more after his five minutes of action on Monday, however, the rookie still only played nine minutes. While he technically scored less than he did in his return against the Bulls, Knox had a couple of threes rim in and out. Look for Knox to continue to work himself back into form over the next few games.
  • Against the Bulls Monday night, Kanter became the first Knick ever to record a 20-20 game off of the bench. He’s also the first player in the NBA since Charles Barkley back in 1996 to record a 20-20-5 game.
  • Tim Hardaway set two career highs Wednesday night—free throw attempts and free throws made. Hardaway finished 14-of-18 from the line—the most free throws in a game since Carmelo Anthony back in 2013.
  • Mitchell Robinson put up a pretty pedestrian stat line—five points and six rebounds in just 15 minutes of action, but his active presence on defense was apparent. Robinson finished with two blocks, including one monster swat in the first, along with this pretty fadeaway.

 

The Knicks will travel across sovereign borders to Toronto to play the Raptors on Saturday afternoon.