4 Ways How Knicks Beat Atlanta, 113-108 on Jan 4

The Knicks were down by 15 with 4:30 left in the 3rd against Atlanta in Atlanta, but were energized by rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley, then electrified by veteran point guard Austin Rivers down the stretch, and lock-down 4th quarter team defense, to come back and win 113-108. The Knicks completed a 3-1 roadtrip and improve their record to 4-3.

How they did it:

1. “Quivers”

Twitter started trending a new Knickname for the rookie and veteran point guard pair — Immanuel Quickley and Austin Rivers — as they dominated action in the 4th for the Knicks. Quickley only played 3 minutes in the 1st half, but came in and hit a 3 late in the 3rd to begin the Knick comeback, then had 9 of his 16 points in the 4th quarter.

Quickley was everywhere on offense — driving and scoring, popping consecutive 3’s, penetrating and passing to Kevin Knox for a few open 3’s that he knocked down as well.

Late in the 4th, Austin Rivers stepped up with fantastic veteran play — his defense and his ability get in the paint, score, and hit BIG shots were keys to the win. Rivers hit a huge 3 to put the Knicks up by 4 with a minute 30 seconds left.

As KnicksRants put it, “Rivers with a hell of a shot and then draws the offensive foul on trae young right after, great shit“.

Elfrid Payton started and had a good game, but was struggling with his shot a bit, going 6-18. Quickley spelled him late in the 3rd quarter, and never sat down. Quickley not only energized the offense, he did a Great defensive job on Trae Young — Young couldn’t get his nick-nack foul calls, and was missing his shots.

Trae Young is known for the James Harden fake flop shot, where he overacts getting fouled as he throws the shot up. Quickley is a master of this shot as well — and used the flop move on Young himself, and got the call. As Knicks Fandom UK offered, “Trae’s face when Quickley pulls the same trick on him — that’s been the highlight of this game for me.”

Austin Rivers told Alan Hahn after the game that he doesn’t like the Knickname “Quivers” — as it sounds like they are quivering in fear — so this may be the last you see of this Knickname.

2. Fourth-Quarter DEFENSE and STOPS

The Knicks as a team had LOCK DOWN defense in the 4th quarter — by Quickley, Rivers, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson.

As @BlamesDolan summarized, “Mitch is the king of keeping a loose ball rebound alive like he’s playing keep it in the air.”

3. Randle and Barrett

Julius Randle and RJ Barrett both played over 40 minutes. Randle had 28 pts, 17 rebounds, 9 assists. Atlanta threw double teams at him in the 2nd half, and he read that defense — and passed to teammates to open up the game.

Randle finished with 10-19 shooting (1-5 from 3, 5-7 from the free throw line), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 26 points.

4. Thibodeau’s Coaching

And of course there was coach Tom Thibodeau’s coaching — which is first rate and has the Knicks playing a terrific brand of basketball — passing the ball unselfishly on offense, and locking teams down on defense. Coaching is 65% of the NBA, and the Knicks have a very good coach — something Vegas seemed to overlook when they predicted the Knicks would only win 22 games this year.

The Boxscore


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