No Defense. 3 Reasons Why NY 140 Sacramento 121 on 2-25-21

The headline pretty much sums up the game. But I’ll give you 3 reasons why the Knicks romped in this one anyway — which by the way it wasn’t a romp until the very end.

1. Alec  Burks

That’s right — even before the fact there was no defense, Alec Burks has to be mentioned. Because with the Knicks in the process of about to blow out Sacramento all evening, the Kings somehow pulled to within 5 points, 97-92 with 1:21 left in the 3rd quarter.

And then in the 4th, Alec Burks put on his cape, and put on a show.  Burks hit a 2-pt jumper early in the quarter and then:

  • Burks hit a 3 with 8:14 left and NY up 112-99, and the Kings hanging in — it gave NY a 16-pt lead,
  • Burks hit Another 3 the next time down, with 7:37 left, to make it 118-101 NY

  • Burks hit ANOTHER 3 the next time down, with 7:16 left, to make it 121-101 NY,
  • BURKS HIT ANOTHER 3, with 5:22 left, to make it 124-108, NY

  • BURKS HIT YET ANOTHER 3, with 4:46 left, to make it 127-108 NY
  • Burks hit a 2-pt jumper with 4:01 left to make it 132-110, NY, as a parting shot. Burks finished with 24 points on 8-12 shooting (5-8 from 3) for a +22.

2. No Defense

The Kings don’t play any defense and don’t hustle. Say their fans on Twitter. So it was like being at a shooting gallery all evening for the Knicks. NBA ballplayers make open 3’s for the most part. The Knicks shot 19-36 from 3 for the evening. That’s over 50 percent.

Immanuel Quickley was red hot all night — breaking out of a multi-game shooting slump. He was 5-10 (3-6 from 3, 12-12 from the free throw line) for 25 points and a +15.

Julius Randle did his usual All-Star-type damage: 21 pts on 9-18 shooting, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. Marvin Bagley II played such bad defense against him it was highlighted on Twitter.

3. Ntilikina Played with Payton Out Injured

Elfrid Payton was out injured, day-to-day with a hamstring bruise, so Frank Ntilikina brushed off the cobwebs and — played brilliantly.

He took charges, intercepted passes for steals, passed the ball for open 3’s (by Quickley on one play), and hit open 3’s himself. He looked like a good glue player who could really help a team play winning basketball. He finished with 7 points in 23 minutes, 3-6 from the floor (1-3 from 3) for a +17.

Derrick Rose started at point in Payton’s absence and played well — 18 points (on 7-11) and 6 assists

Other Knicks

Obi Topping again played well; 17 minutes, 3 points and a +10. Nerlens Noel (8 pts, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Taj Gibson (9 pts, 7 rebounds and a +17) held down the center spot with Mitchell Robinson out injured.

Other Kings

For the Kings, Buddy Hield was nearly invisible all evening (9 pts) said Sacramento fans on Twitter.

Almost Knick Tyrese Haliburton had 17 pts on 6-13 with 4 assists and 4 steals, but was memed-back by Rob Perez on Twitter, in response to his tea-drinking meme the last time the two teams played, 2 months ago, when the Kings won.

D’Aaron Fox had 29 pts (on 9-18, 3-7 from 3).


Luke Walton was trending on Twitter after the game. It was theorized by Knicks Twitter and Sacramento Kings Twitter that this might be his last game as coach, and that would make the 2nd coach the Knicks had caused to be fired in the last week — Minnesota’s coach Ryan Saunders having been fired the hour after NY beat the Timberwolves earlier in the week.

But Walton was trending because he smashed the playbook in anger.

Harrison Barnes played well and you wonder if he’s a good fit for the Knicks at small forward. He is 29, won a title in Golden State, is 6’8, plays a refined game, is the only King that seems interested in Defense, shoots well from 3 and the free throw line. If he gets traded to the Knicks you heard it here first.

The Boxscore

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