Knicks Fire on All Cylinders; Crush Pistons in 1st Pre-Season Game. NY 117 Detroit 96

The Knicks have an elite point guard, for the first time in years — and it immediately showed how much better it makes the team look in the first pre-season game of the 2022-23 season.

Jalen Brunson — the off-season’s big free agent acquisition — had the Knicks dishing and swishing from start to finish in a 117-96 blowout of the Detroit Pistons.

“Jalen can provide whatever you need,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “So if you need him to provide more scoring, he can do that. If you need more playmaking, he can do that. If you need him to create pace and create movement, he can do that. If you need a big 3, big shot — he can do that.”

Thibodeau added, “I love the way he can control and manage the game. To me that’s the #1 function of a point guard. He doesn’t get sped up; he doesn’t get rattled. And I love the way — like Julius — the 3rd quarter, was terrific. It’s a calming influence. I think RJ played a really good game — but they played off each other really well.”

Thibodeau’s top reasons for the win:

  1. Starts with Jalen — he got the Knicks going.
  2. The Knicks got stops, got up the court, shared the ball.
  3. The Knicks started the game well.
  4. The Knicks had a great start of the 3rd quarter.
  5. The starters played really well.
  6. Julius Randle got going in the 3rd.
  7. RJ Barrett was terrific throughout.
  8. Mitchell Robinson protected the rim.
  9. Evan Fournier made plays; got people going.
  10. Immanuel Quickley came in and gave great minutes.
  11. Derrick Rose played really well; Deuce McBride played really well.

Miles McBride played spectacular defense on the evening — picking up 5 steals.

For Detroit

Jaden Ivey — whom Detroit picked with the #5 overall pick in the June 2022 draft — and for whom so many rumors swirled that the Knicks wanted to trade up to pick — scored 16 points on 6 for 9 shooting (1-1 from 3, 3-3 from the free throw line) in 22 minutes; he had a -24.

Peter Vecsey attributed Detroit’s sorry current state to former coach and GM Stan Van Gundy:

The Boxscore

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