Knicks SKY Over Orlando from Start to Finish. NY 121 Orlando 96

The Knicks CRUSHED the Magic in Orlando from start to finish — playing a tight D and raining 3’s on them all evening en route to the walkaway 121-96 win. New York led 36-16 after 1 quarter, led 65-35 at the half, led by 30 or more throughout the 2nd half, and led by 34 with 3 minutes left until Orlando scored the last 9 points in garbage time to only lose by 25.

In so doing the Knicks set a club record with 24 3-pointers made.

“Everybody loves playing with one another,” said Immanuel Quickley afterwards. “Everybody can make plays; we can all shoot, dribble pass… and we play for each other. That’s the Knicks culture: play for each other; play hard each night and that’s gonna get the job done most nights. So that’s what we’re trying to do.”

1. Tight D and 3 and Very Few Turnovers

The game was tied 9-9 when the Knicks started to pull away on Kemba Walker back-to-back 3’s to give NY a 16-11 lead and it was off to the races.

The Knicks played a tight D all evening, creating turnovers (Orlando had 18) which led to breaks and buckets in the other direction.

The Knicks offense featured ball movement, 3’s, and very few turnovers — NY only had 11 turnovers.

2.  Randle & Fournier Tag Team Looks Elite

Two games into the season and after a 4-0 pre-season, it looks like Evan Fournier has been the perfect pickup by the Knicks and compliment to Julius Randle and the rest of the Knick offense. Fournier is terrific at creating ball movement — moving, shooting, or passing to teammates. And he is a lethal 3-point shooter who draws defenses and is just as apt to drive to the basket and pickup a foul. He is an over 80 percent free throw shooter.

Fournier and Randle have been deadly together.

3. Toppin Continues to Shine

Another noticeable highlight thus far in the young season has been the play of Obi Toppin — who is looking like a young Amar’e Stoudemire, with aggressive sky-high slams — and popping 3’s to boot. The addition of Kemba Walker and Fournier has given the Knicks more of a motion offense that has helped open up Toppin — and Toppin is playing with much more confidence. Toppin is starting to look like he could be a really good player.

It is not only Toppin’s slams and 3’s — it is his defense too and ability to block shots. He is playing a highly confident 2-way game.

4. Knicks Have Long Range Firepower

Another thing that comes out of the game is the long-range firepower that the Knicks have — especially when Immanuel Quickley came off the bench in the 4th quarter and started hitting effortlessly from 3. The bombardment on Orlando was relentless — like B-52’s over Dresden.

Derrick Rose‘s 3-point jumper is also noticeably improved. And of course there’s Alec Burks, who can score from 3 or from anywhere.

Near the end of the game, Immanuel Quickley lost a contact lense, had trouble putting it back in his eye, so tossed it and played without it — and still hit a 3 which caused him to put a hand over that eye after hitting the 3.

The lone Knick to have an off 3-pt shooting night was RJ Barrett, who was 0-5 from 3 and didn’t play in the 4th quarter as the Knicks had the big lead and Thibodeau went with Rose and Quickley. But Barrett made all 3 of his inside drives and played the great 2-way game — he finished with 7 pts on 3-8 shooting for a +12 with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

5. Knicks Inside Game

The Knicks aren’t just about 3’s — they have a good inside game as well with Julius Randle on their side. Randle was searing Orlando inside all night — helping to open up those 3’s from the outside.

Mitchell Robinson had 6 points and 9 rebounds in 28 minutes. With Nerlens Noel still out (due back next week), Jericho Sims is first man off bench relieving Robinson at center. Sims had his first NBA bucket in the 1st half — played 10 minutes and was a +15.


A shot of Tom Thibodeau smiling went viral on Knicks twitter.

  • The game was played before a home crowd in Orlando. Knick fans overwhelmed the arena.

The Boxscore

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