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Knicks 116, Nuggets 110: “KP is Bae”

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My eyes are bleeding happy water!

Denver Nuggets v New York Knicks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Man, I really picked a great year to start writing about the New York Knicks. Our favorite Manhattanites rocked the Denver Nuggets tonight to the tune of 115 points off a career-high 38 points for Kristaps Porzingis. Rock-hard D and three straight W’s to take the team to a .500 record this early in the season!

In all seriousness, though, it’s probably best that our expectations stay tempered and we do not fall into the trap of- GOD DAMN THIS FEELS GOOOOD. I know I should probably watch how excited I get about a team of young guys that play for the unluckiest fanbase in all of basketball, but I just don’t care! We need to cherish moments like this.

The Knicks went up early in the game by double digits with another hot start from the Unicorn. Jarrett Jack also looked very sharp, and facilitated the offense beautifully. He found KP in all of the right places, something that goes unnoticed in how Porzingis has been starting games. Last year, the team would often struggle to find him the ball early, and as a result it took time for his game to come to him. With even a modicum of decent facilitation, Porzingis now bagged his 5th 30-point game in six.

However, despite the Knicks going into halftime up by 22, they found themselves tied halfway through the third quarter after 12 turnovers let the Nuggets climb back into the game. Just when all knees became weak and arms heavy, Porzingis said gimme that mom’s spaghetti:

‘Twas truly the turning point in the game as Tim Hardaway Jr. found a spark of his own to start the final quarter. With 11 straight points, he helped the Knicks build a small buffer, a wave they rode to the final seconds of the game. It was indeed a delight to see a young and inexperienced Knicks team play great basketball to seal off a win.

Your Knick of the Night: Who else but Kristaps Porzingis. The guy had 38 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. I mean, come on.

Your Dick Dud of the Night: Paul Millsap. Dude really thought he was going to guard KP and not get destroyed. Just because you changed uniforms doesn’t mean that spin move ain’t coming for ya ‘sap. 8 points on 2 of 13 shooting for Paul, but 10 rebounds though.

Notes:

  • Enes Kanter had another strong first half tonight. However, his defense was partially complicit in letting Denver climb back into this one. 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists for the big fella.
  • I like Jeff Hornacek using Kyle O’Quinn to combat Kanter’s defensive woes. Kyle did everything he could on the floor tonight: boxing out, rebounding, dishing, and setting solid screens. If he continues this for an entire season, he just might have to be a permanent piece with this young team. 15 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks(!), and an assist in only 21 minutes...
  • Hornacek also used a lineup of Frank Ntilikina/Damyean Dotson/Doug McDermott/Michael Beasley/Kyle O’Quinn to end the first and start the second quarters. I loved the balance of the lineup with two defensively strong guards on the perimeter and a solid defender in the paint. Doug’s shooting also helped shore up the offense, but hopefully we can have someone stronger than Beasley on that side of the ball as well.
  • I’m really digging the defensive rotations and communication with this young team. Despite employing minus-defenders at several different positions, the team still played suffocating defense for all but a few minutes in this game. It’s as if hustle was the one thing the Knicks have been missing for the past few years.
  • I liked seeing Frank Ntilikina enter the game in the final few possessions. Even though he got called for a foul on Jokic right away, it was nice to see Horny have faith in him to defend when the game is (somewhat) on the line.
  • Jamal Murray (20/3/2) and Nikola Jokic (28/8/2) really gave the Knicks all they got in the second half. I really love these two kids and genuinely hope they succeed in the NBA.
  • MVP chants for our collective son, Porzingis, tonight as he dominated this game. I’ll be the first to honestly admit I did not see this kind of mature leap from so soon, but i’ll also be the first to admit I’M EXCITED AF. As foiegrastyle noted in the game thread, KP is indeed “bae”.

That’s all for the recap, guys. That’s three straight blowout-esque performances by the New York Knicks! You know it’s Halloween tomorrow when we’re seeing such Stranger Things... haha you get it? I’ll see myself out. Next up, the visiting Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Stuff it in Harden’s beard please, KP!