Deuce “Politics” McBride & Knick Junkyard Dogs Rip Portland, 123-107

It was billled as the “Cam Reddish Revenge Game“, but instead it became the “Knicks Show Why Cam Reddish Wasn’t in the Rotation Game.”

A day before, Cam Reddish — the 6’8 forward recently traded to Portland — said he had lost his spot in the Knicks starting rotation back in December because ““It had nothing to do with basketball. It was all the politics, all the favoritism. Shit like that.”

In this game, Miles McBride — the 6’2 guard who took Cam’s spot in the rotation — put on a SHOW — playing the frenetic, disruptive on-ball defense he is known for, and showing his offensive skills — hitting 3’s and leading the offense when he was at the point — for 18 points on 6-8 shooting (4-5 from 3), and 3 steals for a +17.

McBride — knicknamed “Deuce” — earned a new knickname: “Politics.”

(*Callout to @TheMeccaMSG who were first we saw to come up with it.)

And Josh Hart — the player Cam was traded for — showed what kind of player the Knicks wanted Cam to be: disruptive, frenetic, all over the court making hustle plays and ripping down rebounds: Hart had 16 pts on 6-13 shooting, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and a +26.

Cam Reddish? A listless 2 points on 1-6 shooting in 19 minutes and a team-worst -27 — including hitting the top of the backboard with a UFO 3-pt shot from the corner — that Josh Hart rebounded and went the length of the court with for a score.

“We knew we wanted to finish this roadtrip up right,” said McBride afterwards. “We came out a little flat. Just it being the end of the roadtrip. We wanted to make sure we finished it up right and came out with more energy (in the 2nd half).”

“It feels great that we’re getting the wins,” said Josh Hart. “And I’m in a new position right now where we’re playing for something and I really haven’t been in that position before in my career. And that’s just making me even more hungry as well as the rest of the guys in the lockerroom.”

NY finishes the West Coast trip at 2-2 despite missing Jalen Brunson, still out with the ankle sprain. They improve to 41-30, moving back into full possession of 5th place in the East, a game ahead of the Nets. Portland falls to 31-38.

1. Knicks = JUNKYARD DOGS

NY spotted Portland an early 15-point lead in the 1st quarter but the Knicks pulled back to within 6 at the half, and then McBride, Hart, and the rest of the Knicks came on like JUNKYARD DOGS in the 3rd and 4th quarters, demolishing Portland with Defense & scoring at will.

2. McBride & Hart = DOGS

McBride and Hart were Alpha Dogs at the heart of the Junkyard Dogs. The evening was epitomized when Reddish threw up the UFO from the corner, and Hart rebounded and took it coast to coast.

And there was more.. as @Knicks_Mafiz put it, “McBride out here making a political statement!!!

3. Hartenstein = DOG

Another key player to the effort was Isaiah Hartenstein, who played so well again that he stayed on the court throughout the 4th quarter. He played 27 minutes to Mitchell Robinson‘s 21 minutes — not that Robinson played bad — it was just the Knicks Thriving when Hartenstein was on the court. (Although Robinson’s lesser involvement produced some post-game drama — see Etcetera section below.)

Hartenstein provided BIG BODY defense inside, hauled down 11 rebounds, had a block, a steal, and fed Knicks for 4 assists including more quarterback-style outlet passes for fast breaks. For the second game in a row he impacted the game tremendously but scored 0 points.

4. Barrett Led Knicks Back from Poor Start

Portland jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the game, and led by 15 in the 1st quarter as Damian Lillard was hitting 3’s and every Knick shot seemed to roll in and out. Julius Randle got off to a bad shooting start, and picked up 3 early fouls so was on the bench late in the 1st quarter.

With Julius on the bench and the Knicks in disarray, RJ Barrett stepped up — and starting going to the rim aggressively, and scoring, scoring and scoring some more.

Barrett also played Great Defense — and came up with 3 blocks.

Barrett sat midway thru the 4th, his work done and the Knicks up big. He finished with 22 points in only 28 minutes, on 8-13 shooting (1-3 from 3, 5-7 in free throws), 5 rebounds and the 3 blocks.

5. Quickley 26 Points

Immanuel Quickley joined Barrett in scoring as the Knicks erased the big Portland lead and came to within 3 just before the half. Lillard hit a 3 just before the half closed to put Portland back up by 6 — but that was Portland’s last hurrah.

In the 3rd quarter the Knicks took command, pulling out to a 10 point lead, and in the 4th the Knick Junkyard Dogs used Killer Instinct to shred Rip City with frenetic team DEFENSE, rebounding, and fast break scores.

The Knicks Mauled Portland on the boards, 52-38, and drove to the basket relentlessly (especially after their 3’s weren’t hitting early) — producing a free-throw disparity: NY was 24-34 from the line vs Portland’s 14-18. Portland took 45 three’s (17-45 for 37%); NY ended up 15-35 from 3 (43%).

6. QGrimes & McBride Defended Lillard

Damian Lillard finished with 38 points on 11-26 shooting (8-17 from 3). Quentin Grimes did a good job preventing Damian from penetrating, as did McBride and Quickley when they were on Lillard — but Lillard kept hitting 3’s from the parking lot.

Anfernee Simons was a tough guard as usual — he had 22 points. And Matisse Thybulle scored 15 points including some early 3’s before the Knicks got on him defensively on the outside. Knicks Twitter noted that Cam Reddish is coming off the bench again — now behind the likes of Thybulle and small forward Trendon Watford (who had 10 pts).

7. Toppin Quality Minutes

Obi Toppin got 14 minutes and shined when he was in — as he did the previous game vs the Lakers when he was in the game late the 4th quarter. Obi had 11 points on 4-6 shooting (3-5 from 3).

Randle had a strong 2nd half, and finished with 24 pts and 10 rebounds.

Etcetera

There was some new post-game drama, as Mitchell Robinson took to Snapchat to complain (again) about the lack of shots he’s getting. He posted two pictures and then deleted them. He may be feeling the effects of Isaiah Hartenstein getting the majority of the playing time of late.

But then Mitch took to Twitter and tweeted a positive message and wished everyone goodnight.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore/_/gameId/401469189

1 Comment

  1. Good question!

    Quentin Grimes? RJ Barrett who was getting 40 min a game while Cam wasn’t playing?

    Cam accidentally threw a lot of people under the bus. He’s young; he made a mistake. Hope he plays with more hustle going forward.

    Thanks for reading and for the comment!

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