Solid Win. 3rd in Row. 5 Reason Why Knicks 119 Golden State 104 on 1/21/21

This was a good win, start to finish, at Golden State, a day after the Knicks had beaten Sacramento on the West Coast.

How they did it:

1. Payton’s Good Defense ‘Holding’ Curry Down

Elfrid Payton set the tone, with good defense on Steph Curry. On one play in the 1st quarter, Payton’s D caused Steph Curry to throw the ball away; leading to a SLAM by RJ Barrett.

A little while later, Payton missed two free throws and missed two 3’s on one play — but his good Defense on Curry forced another turnover — and then a great pass by him to Julius Randle resulted in a 3-pt play.

Coach Tom Thibodeau has said he likes Payton’s Defense and Height (listed 6’3 but looks 6’4) — and it showed as he kept Payton on Curry for most of this game. Payton played 37 minutes; Immanuel Quickley played 11 minutes.

Payton had 15 pts on 5-11 shooting (1-4 from 3, 4-6 in free throws — he made his next 4 after missing his first 2), 5 assists and a +15.

Curry eventually got his points in the 2nd half, while the Knicks enjoyed a big lead, and ended the game with 30 pts on 9-19 shooting (5-14 from 3) but a -16.

2. Barrett = Star

RJ Barrett looked every bit the budding superstar in this game, poised to supplant the likes of Curry at the pantheon of the elite guards in the game. He is a 6’7 athletic beast who affects the game on the defensive and offensive sides of the court, and loves to drive against traffic in the lane and score in a variety of ways, relishing contact. His outside shooting and free throws are much improved. In this game he dominated start to finish — 28 pts on 10-17 shooting (2-3 from 3, 6-8 in free throws) with 2 rebounds (averaging 7) and 5 assists.

3. Thibodeau’s Defense

And of course it wasn’t just Payton and Barrett — it was Thibodeau’s DEFENSE and crisp offense too. The Knicks are a different team than they’ve been in years.

4. Knicks Dominated Inside

The Knicks dominated defensively in the interior with Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel excelling. Mitchell Robinson had 18 pts on 8-11 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks but got into foul trouble for one of the few times this season (4 fouls). That gave Nerlens Noel some additional minutes — 20 in all; he scored 6 pts, had 11 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Obi Toppin also looked great in this game in 14 minutes off the bench, slam dunking inside and blocking shots.

5. Green to Showers; Randle Near Triple Double

Golden State was hampered by Draymond Green getting hit with a second technical in the second quarter — for yelling at his teammate James Wiseman; the ref thought Draymond was yelling at him and t’d him up and Green was gone. The ref later admitted he made a mistake. Too late for the Warriors who were left to deal with the Knicks big interior players without Green. Julius Randle had 16 pts (4-11 shooting, 1-2 from 3, 7-7 in free throws), 17 rebounds, and 9 assists — just missing a triple double.


Kenny Albert broadcasted this game with Walt Frazier. I always enjoy the nights when Kenny Albert broadcasts — straight up basketball play-by-play without the wash-woman commentary which is often a little off (aka not ‘on the money’),  and builds unfounded reputations of players, that we are subjected to with Mike Breen.

The Boxscore

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.