A variety of Knicks chipped in as New York picks up consecutive victories for the first time since January 30th, dispatching Chicago 110–92.
The visiting Chicago Bulls came into tonight’s game minus two of their young, budding stars in Zach Lavine and Lauri Markkanen, and boy did they miss them a lot. Chicago shot 10 percent (!) from three-point range, and in a league where shooting is so crucial, that is a recipe for disaster. Led by Cristiano Felicio, Bobby Portis, and Antonio Blakeney (16 points each) the Chicago Bulls (24–46) couldn’t get much going all night, with the New York Knicks (26–45) swarming on the defensive end and also dominating the glass with a +12 rebounding edge.
After a closely contested first quarter, the Knicks were able to put their stamp on this game, controlling the offensive tempo throughout while simultaneously locking in defensively.
What was most fun to watch tonight was the buzz tonight was the all around contributions from a number of guys on the team. Primarily, Tim Hardaway Jr. showed you flashes of greatness with his ability to get to the rim and his sharpshooting with 22 points on 7-of-15 from the field. If he can continue to be a consistent and reliable option offensively, Hardaway Jr. will be able to easily justify the big contract he was given this past offseason:
Timmy from deep! Four threes on the night for THJ
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) March 20, 2018
Another guy I’d like to shoutout is Troy Williams, who has proven to have been an excellent find for the Knicks. His rim-rocking dunks have seem to become a nightly occurrence, as his athleticism is absolutely off the charts. Williams put up a solid 11 points and seven boards in 20 minutes, and despite his subpar shooting ability, has proven to be a nice bench piece for the near future. Most importantly, Troy seems to play with a chip on his shoulder and never seems to give up on plays, which is exactly what the Knicks need going forward.
Westchester Knick Alums Showing Out
Four former members of the DubKnicks saw minutes this evening. Isaiah Hicks chipped in nine points and eight rebounds and drained his first career three! Luke Kornet and Trey Burke also poured in nine each while Damyean Dotson contributed five points off the bench. These guys did a solid job tonight complementing the starters and competing hard throughout the contest. If you asked anyone at the beginning of the season if you would see four G Leaguers in the NBA the answer would probably be a firm no, but here we are. It’s an encouraging sight to see these guys getting an opportunity to showcase what they got and if they could be an integral part of the team going forward. The low-pressure and low-expectation environment of a team that is 19 games under .500 is a perfect test tube for these guys to get their feet wet in the NBA. It’s too early to decipher if any of these guys are part of the solution within New York’s rebuild but great job by the coaching staff getting these players in the game.
Although I am conflicted between wanting to see my team win as a die-hard fan and wanting them to free fall down the standings to potentially secure a higher pick, it was nice to see the Knicks (who look so lifeless most of the time) to come out and play with passion and grit. Albeit it was against a G League–caliber roster, but tonight’s game was a rare enjoyable watch for Knicks fans.
New York is back in action Wednesday in Miami against the Heat.
For more on last night’s Bulls win, check out Knicks Film School’s chart below: