Knicks Win 9th in Row! 6 Reasons Why NY 120 Toronto 103 on 4-24-21

Toronto is a very good team (won the NBA title 2 years ago) with their star players back healthy and playing well, an excellent coach in Nick Nurse, and playing great D; they had won 4 in a row coming into this game. The Raptors had 4 scoring stars coming at the Knicks: Pascal Siakam (playing well now), OG Anunoby (banging home 3’s), Fred VanVleet (also hitting 3’s and playing tough everywhere), and Kyle Lowry.

And yet the Knicks met that challenge — out played them and out shot them — and laid down a 4th quarter Defense that made Toronto looking shaky and not confident. NY pulled away for a 120-103 victory, their 9th in a row, on a Saturday afternoon at the Garden. As impressive a win as any this season.


1. Knicks Shooting Lights Out

The Knicks are now 5th in the NBA in 3-pt shooting percentage. FIFTH. They have been working on their shooting diligently after and before games and it is showing. In this game they were 16-31 from 3 as a team for 51.6%.

The Knicks were ahead of Toronto in the 2nd quarter — up 9 at one point and threatening to build a big lead. But Toronto managed to stay with the Knicks on the 3-pt shooting of Anunoby and VanVleet, and the scoring of Siakem.

In the 3rd quarter Toronto pulled even and then ahead for a short period, taking a 76-73 lead on a VanVleet 3 with 6:22 left in the quarter. But the Knicks came right back — and took a 5-point lead on a Barrett drive at end of the 3rd.

In the 4th — the Raptors came out playing a zone defense but the Knicks rained 3’s to put Toronto out. Immanuel Quickley started the scoring with a 3 to put NY up by 8, and then Obi Toppin hit two 3’s (he made three 3’s on the night) — the last one giving NY a 102-86 lead with 9:14 left.


And there was the Knicks Tom Thibodeau Defense, making Toronto look shaky. Toronto only scored 20 points in the 4th quarter — NY outscored them 32-20. At the anchor was Nerlens Noel — 4 blocks for the game.

On a broken play in the 4th, Siakam broke free for a SLAM but there was Noel to BLOCK it, and send it in the other direction. Noel has an uncanny ability to pop up out of nowhere to block a shot inside — his timing is unbelieveable.

When Noel isn’t in there, it is Taj Gibson as the anchor — and he was back after suffering a lacerated eye lid that allowed him only 9 minutes in the previous game. Sporting googles covering a completely red right eye, Gibson played his usual brand of junkyard Dog Defense inside — 19 minutes, 9 pts (on 4-5 shooting), 5 rebounds, and a +12.

3. Barrett Is a Star

Along with the 3’s, RJ Barrett took over this game in the 4th quarter. He was RIPPING down Rebounds, and Scoring BIG BUCKETS inside. He is a man beast. A future Star. Possibly a future Hall of Famer. He is 20 yrs old; a 6’7 athletic scoring guard who can score at the basket against contact, which he relishes. And now his outside shooting is becoming terrific. His free throw shooting has become money; last year a worry — no more worry.

In this game he had 25 pts, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and only 2 turnovers. He shot 8-16 from the floor (4-7 from 3, 5-6 in free throws).

4. Randle is Batman

And Julius Randle of course — the lead super hero of the Dynamic Duo that lead the Knicks. Batman. Walt Frazier calls him Superman.

Randle started off the game ON FIRE — hitting seemingly every 3 he took. He hit big buckets in the 3rd to turn the game the Knicks way, and big buckets down the stretch. And when I say big buckets — sometimes those big buckets come on free throws after he draws the foul inside. He is money at the free throw line — shooting over 80 percent.

Randle led the Knicks with 31 points on 10-17 shooting (4-7 from 3, 6-8 in free throws) and 10 rebounds. Oddly enough he only had 1 assist in this game (he is averaging 6.0) despite being as magnanimous with his passing as he usually is. He is the Knicks engine, according to Thibodeau.

5. Rose the Transmission — Makes ‘Em Go

Handling distribution of the ball in this game — and leading the Knicks ‘North to South’ all afternoon — their transmission — was Derrick Rose: 19 points (on 7-10 shooting), 7 assists, and a +26. Rose orchestrated, upped the Tempo, hit his floater, put the pressure on Toronto, and found open shooters in the corners for 3’s — a big reason for the Knicks high 3-pt shooting percentage as a team.

Elfrid Payton had an off game — made some mistakes turning the ball over on a bad bounce pass on the baseline and being stripped inside, and didn’t finish at the rim after a penetration a couple of times — he had 4 pts, 4 turnovers in 15 minutes for a -9. He made some good plays but was the only Knick to not have a good game overall.

6. Bullock NY’s 4th Scoring Star

Reggie Bullock gave the Knicks their 4th Assassin to match Toronto’s 4 star scorers. He had 16 points on 6-10 shooting (3-7 from 3). With Alec Burks out he has upped his game and is $Money from 3.

The Boxscore


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