Jalen Brunson dazzled in his first game with the Knicks, teaming up with RJ Barrett in a win against the Pistons in New York’s preseason opener.

The New York Knicks opened their preseason by welcoming the Detroit Pistons to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks dominated in a wire-to-wire victory, winning 117-96.

After a whirlwind offseason full of rumors and speculation it was finally time to see the new product on the court for the first time. The new ‘Bockers didn’t disappoint. Jalen Brunson got off to a quick start in the first of half shooting 6-8 for 13 points and was also a pest on defense forcing offensive fouls. Another newcomer, backup center, Isaiah Hartenstein showed out in his first minutes as Knick, bringing a missing element to the lineup by demonstrating his ability to stretch the floor by knocking down two three-pointers.

In a surprise first-half appearance, Miles McBride quickly made an impact in five minutes of play scoring four points and swiping three steals. He was not done, though, as he’d finish the game with six of the Knicks’ 14 steals. New York would take full advantage of the Pistons’ relative youth, forcing them into turning the ball over 22 times in the game. The Knicks would also dominate in the painted area scoring 62 points from inside. 

While it is only the first exhibition of the preseason, the Knicks’ presumed “Big 3” looked good. Barrett, Brunson, and Randle seemed to gel on the court in their first real NBA minutes together. It was an early night as they put the Pistons away early the in the third quarter, amassing a lead as high as 32 points. Brunson would end his MSG debut with 16 points to go with five assists. Julius Randle after a slow start in the first half ended the night with 15 points on 6-10 shooting to go with six rebounds and four assists. RJ Barrett started year four strong leading the field in scoring with 21 points on the night and adding five rebounds. It was an encouraging sign for the Knicks to have their stars off to good starts because of fit concerns coming in, especially between Randle and Brunson. 

Immanuel Quickley resumed exactly where he left off in his first preseason action he would score 13 points in 20 minutes of play. McBride played 22 minutes, which is a good sign for the youth moment going forward as Derrick Rose only saw six minutes of action. Obi Toppin also played 22 minutes and while he had a tough night from long distance, missing four of three-point attempts, he did have a highlight windmill and ended the night with eight points and six rebounds. Hartenstein would lead New York in minutes on the evening with 27. He finished the game with eight points and team-high seven rebounds. After a disappointing night, it was announced that Cam Reddish would not return for the second half of the game with an ankle sprain. In 11 minutes of action, he shot just 1-6. 

It was an auspicious start to the career of Pistons rookie and fourth overall pick, Jaden Ivey, a player the Knicks themselves desperately tried to acquire on draft night this past June. Scoring 16 points on efficient 6-9 shooting, his future looks bright in Detriot. It was a very different evening for last year’s first overall pick, sophomore Cade Cunningham, struggling on the evening shooting a lowly 3-12 from the field. The Pistons as a whole were unable to get it going on the night shooting 41.3% as a team while not being able to protect the ball. 

After some early home cooking, the Knicks stay in the Garden and welcome the Indiana Pacers in their next preseason match on October 7th.

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