Tank Over — Like V-E Day — Knicks WIN! — April 7, 2019: NY 113 Washington 110

Like Liberation. Like V-E day (Victory in Europe) for a Knicks fan. When the Knicks clinched sole possession of dead last — guaranteeing themselves no worse than the 5th pick this June — the Universe changed for Knicks fans. NO MORE TANK. The Knicks were unbridled to WIN basketball games again.

And so they did.

Most curious thing is why Washington put up such a fight — entering the game in a 4-way tie for the 6th worst record in the league.

Hezonja was Rocking the Point

Mario Hezonja, playing the starting point guard position for second straight game — was electrofying and all over the place and led the Knicks to the win. Mario said after the game that point guard was his natural position growing up and in Europe — leading Knick fans like @MaishaNaUpendo on twitter to ask  “Knicks point guard of the future was here all along. The question is though, wasn’t #MarioHezonja always suppose to play point forward for us? Why did this take so long to do?”

or as @_Ck2K put it:

Hezonja finished with 12-21 30 pts, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals. He was hitting 3’s, driving to the basket, and finding teammates.

Mitchell Robinson was the benefit of some of Hezonja’s passes:

The Garden Was Rocking

The other takeaway from this game was the Garden — which was Rocking like a Playoff game on a Sunday night, almost last game of season for the team with worst record in the league! As @KnicksJets4Life put it, “ou know you have the best fans in the world when you clinched the worst record in the #NBA and the crowd is still cheering for you like it’s Game 7 of the #NBA finals.”

As Stefan Bondy of NY Daily News put it, “Knicks are 15-66, playing the Wizards, and these fans at MSG are life-and-death with every play. Crazy.”

The Comeback

The Knicks actually entered the 4th trailing by 10 points, but Hezonja and Dennis Smith Jr. led the comeback. Smith playing with a bad back that was noticeable — gamed it out.

Hezonja explained it all:

Haarlow later added: “Dennis Smith Jr told me his back is just as sore as before but he’s playing ‘bc it’s too hard to sit back & watch’ when he could be helping. These games don’t mean anything, yet he’s sacrificing his body for the team. That’s all you need to know about his character.”

Robinson & Knox

Mitchell Robinson with another fine game 11 pts (on 4-5 shooting) 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks, extending his at-least-2-blocks-per-game streak. He started off the game with this one:

And Kevin Knox looked good again — 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists — although his final boxscore shooting didn’t seem it (5-14 on 1-7 from 3).

Other Knicks

Luke Kornet played another strong game — starting with Robinson and Knox. Kornet had 17 pts (6-11 shooting, 4-8 from 3) and plays really well with Robinson — as Kornet stretches the floor on offense.

Damyean Dotson played well (6 pts on 2-8 but 2-3 from 3, 3 rebounds 5 assists), as did John Jenkins (8 pts on 3-5) and Henry Ellenson (10 pts on 3-4). Lance Thomas, DeAndre Jordan, Billy Garrett Jr, and Isiah Hicks suited but did not play. Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Noah Vonleh continued to be injured.

For the Wizards

For the Wizards, Jeff Green led all scorers with 19, Bradley Beal played 23 minutes and had 13 points, Bobby Portis had 11, Troy Brown Jr had 13 pts, and Thomas Brown their young center had 17 points.

The Boxscore

http://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401071877

Past Game Post Game

During the game this surfaced on Twitter — Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy as analysts of the nationally televised game talking about the previous Knicks-Houston game and Houston starters leaving the bench to go to the lockerroom before the game was over.

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