Attack, Pass & Hit the THREEEEEE!!! Knicks Blow Out Brooklyn, 142-118

Coming off a convincing start-to-finish win over top-ranked Boston, the Knicks did not let up against the free-falling Nets, coming out with the foot on the accelerator, passing the ball and hitting the 3 ball at record-breaking pace in BLOWING OUT Brooklyn 142-118.

On a Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

The skinny:

  • Julius Randle and RJ Barrett set the tone early, starting the game with 3’s from the DEEP right corner despite a pressuring Nets defense.
  • Jalen Brunson then started to pour it on, and then Quentin Grimes — as the Knicks passed, passed, passed and hit everything they took in rhythm — deflating the Nets defense.
  • Brunson banged knees with Mikal Bridges early in the 1st — and looked like he might go out of the game — but instead sucked it up and starting hitting every shot he took. He had 30 points in the 1st half.
  • On the defensive end, Mitchell Robinson set the tone with an Aegis defense inside while ripping down rebounds.
  • NY led 47-29 at the end of the 1st quarter, were up by 27 points midway thru the 2nd quarter, and led 81-57 at the half. The Nets were never able to cut the lead to lower than 17 in the 2nd half, and the Knicks pushed the lead back up to 30 in the 4th.

“I thought we attacked the rim well. We got our defense going. I liked the rhythm — we created good rhythm on our 3’s,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “When we share the ball, attack the rim, make good rim reads…. and it’s not just attacking the rim — oftentimes it’s drive, pass-pass. When everyone gets in rhythm like that, it’s tough.”

NY has won 7 in a row and are now 37-27, only 1.5 games behind Cleveland for 4th place in the conference. The Nets — free falling after trading Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — are now 34-28.

1. Brunson Brunson and More Brunson

The Knicks defended and shared the ball at the outset, and the game came easy for them — they seemed to hit every shot they took. NY hit 9 (nine) 3-pointers in the 1st quarter. At the forefront of it was Brunson, hitting shot after shot, 3 after 3. At the half he was 13-15 from the floor (and 4 of 5 from 3) for 30 points.

In the 2nd half, he barely took a shot — with the Nets coming after him with double teams, he passed — and the free flowing Knick offense continued.

“What it led to is reading the game well,” said Thibs on Brunson’s 2nd half. “When someone gets going like that — they went to a blitz, then they went to a fire where they sent the 2nd defender and he didn’t fight it. He got off the ball. We played to the backside. We got good rhythm shots off of that.”

Brunson finished with 39 points on 15-18 shooting (5-6 from 3; 4-4 in free throws), with 5 rebounds and 6 assists.

2. Randle Played with Effectiveness & Ease

Julius Randle played with ease and effectiveness — hitting the 3, and hitting the open man. He had 21 pts on 7-15 shooting (4-8 from 3) and a +27.

3. Mitchell Blockinson

Randle and the Knick team also played great Defense — and at the core of it of course was Mitchell Robinson — playing as well as he’s ever played — blocking shots, deflecting shots, ripping down rebounds, and on the offensive end slamming inside off alley oops or offensive rebounds.

He Dominated. Robinson took a good part of the 2nd half off as coach Thibs gave Isaiah Hartenstein minutes with the huge NY lead. Robinson finished with 13 points on 6-6 shooting (1-3 in free throws), 10 rebounds and 1 block in 26 minutes.

Robinson outplayed Nets shot-blocking center Nic Claxton (9 pts, 8 rebounds and 1 block in 23 minutes).

Hartenstein had not played well in the last 2 games after Robinson came back from injury. But in this game he got back in rhythm, and played well — 3-6 shooting for 8 points, 8 rebounds and a +17 in 19 minutes.

4. Knicks Shared the Ball

And the rest of the night was just the Knicks sharing the ball and making scoring look easy.

  • Quentin Grimes was RED HOT from 3 — 22 points on 8-12 shooting (69 from 3).
  • RJ Barrett had a good night — 15 points on 5-11 shooting (2-2 from 3, 3-5 in free throws) and a +10. “RJ gave us really good minutes,” said Thibs afterwards.
  • Immanuel Quickley scored 15 points on 6-12 shooting (2-5 from 3).
  • Josh Hart was all over the place on Defense and scored 4 points on 2-3 shooting with 5 assists and had a +30 in 26 minutes. “Josh Hart played a Monster game and had 4 points — a +30″ — summarized Thibs afterwards.
  • Thibodeau was intense until the final minutes — as no lead is safe in the NBA — but finally emptied the bench with 2 and a half minutes left and the Knicks up 25 or so. Trevor Keels came in and made his first points in the NBA — a 3 ball.

5. For the Nets

For the Nets, Cam Johnson scored and scored and scored — 33 points on 13-18 shooting  (7-11 from 3). He can flat out Score. But his defense wasn’t noticeable.

Mikal Bridges had 21 points on 6-13 shooting. Spencer Dinwiddie had 11 points on 3-10 shooting — Grimes did not let him get going.

The Boxscore


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