McBride & Hartenstein Help Knicks Take Care of Business. NY 106 Memphis 94

Deuce McBride driving against Memphis. Photo courtesy NY Knicks.

NY had a sluggish 1st half but got serious in the 2nd half to routinely beat the undermanned Grizzlies, 106-94 on a Saturday night in Memphis.

Miles McBride started for an injured Jalen Brunson — out with a calf sprain — and played a splendid game at the point. “Deuce” had 19 points on 7-10 shooting (4-7 from 3) with 6 assists and 7 rebounds.

Isaiah Hartenstein was a Beast all night for NY with 20 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists, and 12 points on 5 for 6 shooting.

And Julius Randle provided the core of NY’s attack with 24 points (on 9-21 shooting), 11 rebounds, and 5 assists.

“I think we’re disappointed with the way we didn’t take care of the ball at all in the 1st half, put them in the open floor,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “And then the defense picked up — a lot — in the 2nd half; rebounding was good throughout. But our turnovers were problematic, then we settled down, and got better shots — and that helped as well. Just finding a way to win is the important thing. Deuce was terrific; I thought that was huge for us.”

“You have to give them credit too; they were really active,” added Thibs. “They were coming after the ball pretty good. They were doing a lot of switching. We held on to it. (The turnovers were) usually a result of trying to thread the needle or too much 1-on-1 instead of just moving it, driving it, and then spraying it. Part that and part adjusting — we’re playing different guys with different lineups. So I think when you do that you have to keep it simple — hit the first open man, trust that guy to make the play. I think it was coming from a good place, but we were misguided.”

It was Thibs’ 500th win in the NBA.

NY improves to 23-16; Memphis falls to 14-25.

1. Sluggish 1st Half Against Undermanned Memphis

Once high-flying Memphis is having a terrible year which started with the suspension of Ja Morant on gun charges. Morant returned in December and got Memphis winning again but then tore his shoulder after 9 games and is out for the season. Memphis was also without 7 other regulars including Desmond Bane (averaging 24.4 ppg), Jaren Jackson Jr (averaging 21.3 ppg), and Marcus Smart for this game.

So Memphis came at the Knicks with a team of secondary players — including Vince Williams Jr at the point, 6’7 Xavier Tillman at power forward, 6’4 David Roddy at small forward, Luke Kennard at shooting guard, and 6’9 GG Jackson off the bench.

Coach Taylor Jenkins had the Grizzlies playing a scrappy brand of basketball and the Knicks were turning the ball over — playing down to the situation.

Memphis took a 27-25 lead at the end of the 1st quarter, and led 57-53 at the half.

2. Knicks Get Serious in 2nd Half

In the 2nd half, the Knicks played better.

Out of the gate, Julius Randle started powering to the basket — notching 3 buckets inside in the first 4 minutes of the 2nd half. He was joined by Isaiah Hartenstein, with a put-back slam, and OG Anunoby with a drive and a 3 and another drive, and NY was up 71-65 with 6:13 left.

Donte DiVincenzo took over late in the quarter — with a 3, a dunk off a Josh Hart pass, and a 3 for 8 straight Knick points and an 81-69 lead.

An Isaiah Hartenstein dunk off a Miles McBride assist ended the 3rd quarter with NY up 83-72.

3. Knicks Take It in 4th

Memphis hung around — David Roddy hit a 3 and a deuce early in the 4th to keep Memphis within 10.

NY kept pushing the lead to 12 and 14 points but Memphis kept pulling back in it, threatening to make it a game. When Ziaire Williams was fouled taking a 3 by OG Anunoby — and made all 3 free throws — Memphis pulled to within 9 at 91-82 with 7 minutes left.

But Julius Randle answered with a huge 3 and NY was back up 12.

Each time Memphis threatened to pull within 10 — NY answered with big buckets: a banker by Josh Hart, a 3 by Miles McBride, a 3 by Hart, a McBride pullup and NY was up 10 with a minute left.

After that it was free throws as Memphis was forced to foul. Randle made them and the Knicks walked off the clock.

4. Hartenstein

Hartenstein was huge in the 4th quarter with a block, a put-back slam, and rebound after rebound. He was massive all game — as usual — providing the Knicks with their backbone at center: rebounds, blocks, offensive rebounds and slams, and dishing the ball on offense like Bill Walton.

“Isaiah Hartenstein continues his huge impact with his motor, effort and he’s fearless,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “Isaiah is relentless on the glass and his work on the offensive glass creates 2nd chance opportunities, runs floor hard, challenges everything at rim along with outworking you and wanting it more.”

5. McBride & Flynn

McBride led the Knicks most of the night at the point — playing 38 minutes.

Malachi Flynn played well as the backup — 9 minutes and 9 points on 4-5 shooting (1-2 from 3) with 3 assists.

The Boxscore

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.