Everybody stay calm, this is not a drill!
The New York Knickerbockers beat the Utah Jazz 112-100 last night to move to 5-3 on the season. It was the second consecutive game where they trailed by 15 or more and came back to win. Austin Rivers was unconscious, scoring 23 points, including 14 of the team’s last 16.
Knicks fans like myself have known pretty much nothing but pain for the last two decades. Just eight games into the Tom Thibodeau era, everything looks different.
Julius Randle was nothing more than an out-of-control punchline after signing with the Knicks last season.
But now, he’s looking like the promising young player we thought he could be, and then some. He’s averaging 23.1 points, 12 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game thus far. He’s a completely different guy.
Immanuel Quickley didn’t play much against the Jazz last night, but he was key in the Knicks’ win in Atlanta on Monday. The rookie point guard scored 16 points in just 19 minutes, playing the entire 4th quarter. The Quickley pick was criticized by some, but he looks like an absolute steal as the #25 selection.
RJ Barrett has looked improved from his rookie season as well. The second-year guard is averaging more points, rebounds, & assists than he did a year ago, as well as shooting much better from the free throw line. His 38.1 minutes per game are second only to Randle’s 38.6 in the entire NBA. Barrett’s development will be huge to the team’s success.
Elfrid Payton had 22 points last night. Mitchell Robinson has been great, and able to stay out of foul trouble. Reggie Bullock provides some much-needed shot making. Kevin Knox looks like a contributor. The turnaround of this team is incredible, and the credit all goes to Thibodeau. The Knicks should’ve hired him years ago.
Is this sustainable? Hopefully the minutes played doesn’t catch up to these guys, and Obi Toppin & Alec Burks can help ease the load once they both return. But Knicks fans, drink this in. This is a lot of fun.