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Knicks 118, Hornets 113: ‘This is KP’s world’

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I’m running out of pants!

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at New York Knicks Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks did it again! For the second straight game, our young, beautiful Knickerbockers overcame a tough, double-digit deficit late in the game to seal a victory. Another takeover by Kristaps Porzingis and clutch defense from Lance Thomas ensured the Knicks won their third straight game at home, 118-113.

The Knicks came out tonight with a weak defense, allowing the Hornets to score 69 points in the first half. None of the guards could contain the Hornets’ shooters as they shot 7 of 9 three pointers in the first quarter alone. The lone bright spot keeping New York in the game was strong Unicorn play. Kristaps lit it up from downtown, posted smaller guys (sorry Marvin Williams) down low, and protected the paint, including this one 3-block possession!

In the second and third quarters the bench lineup, spearheaded by Queens legend Kyle O’Quinn, shored up the defense in the paint while still allowing Malik Monk and the Hornets to continue raining threes. Tim Hardaway Jr. also found his shot, including a very fitting banked three to cut the Hornets’ lead early in the third.

Despite Enes Kanter’s soft touch in the mid-range, he was mostly unplayable against Dwight Howard and the Hornets’ pick-and-roll. However, another late game adjustment from Jeff Hornacek found the Knicks playing harder defense against Charlotte in the final quarter, led by O’Quinn, and then later Porzingis, and then finally Lance Thomas to eat away at the Hornets’ lead until finally taking the reigns late in the final period.

The guy has really exceeded any expectations set by literally any person on this planet. He’s done everything right the past few games, with the poise of a seasoned vet and the spry skill of a young superstar. I can’t tell you how many times I jumped out of my seat during the final quarter, praying to every deity that this game ends just like the last so I can have some sort of meaning in my life. MVP! MVP! MVP!

Your Knick of the Night: Do I even need to say it? 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks for my father and son.

Your Dick Dud of the Night: Enes Kanter had a relatively soft 14 points and 6 rebounds in a night where he was thoroughly abused by Despicable Dwight Howard. Three steals though!

Notes:

  • Lance Thomas deservedly earned all of Michael Beasley’s minutes tonight—10 points, 5 crucial fourth-quarter rebounds, and overall lock-down defense from the Brooklyn native.
  • ‘Twas a relatively quiet offensive night for our treasure Frank Ntilikina, yet he somehow still had 8 assists to go along with his 3 points and 3 rebounds. I’d love for him to attack the rim more on those high pick-and-rolls, but it sucks that the one time he did he committed an offensive foul. Fantastic defense from the young’un though to help seal the victory yet again. I’m glad to see Jeff has instilled faith in him down the line in these games with 26 minutes.
  • Tim Hardaway’s first two plays in the game were attacking the rim. That’s something I’d like to see moving forward to get him in the groove. The shot will come with time, get some easy baskets if you’re such a great slasher. Quiet 19 points.
  • Mike Breen mentioned tonight that Hardaway was averaging 4.5 assists and 2 steals per game in the past five contests!
  • Speaking of announcers, Clyde seemed to have a grand old time tonight with names like Lamb and Bacon to work with. Love you always!
  • Kyle O’Quinn seems to find everyone backdoor, whether it’s Hardaway tonight or Doug McDermott any other night. His passing and great defense have really solidified him as the second big on this team.
  • I swear Lance Thomas has to lead the league every year in drawing the most moving screens.
  • McDermott had another nice shooting night (20 points on 7 of 8 shooting!) including a clutch four-point play with 8:42 left in the game to cut the Hornets’ fourth quarter lead in half.
  • Similarly, the trio of Doug, Lance, and Tim all hit timely three-pointers to put the Knicks up late in the game, something the Knicks have lacked in the last few years.
  • Courtney Lee had a career high in assists tonight, with 9. The guy really makes all the smart plays in the game, otherwise I’d ask for him to look for his shot more.
  • After taking over the game tonight, Porzingis was interviewed by Rebecca Haarlow and had this to say:
  • Cringe-worthy pun of the night: I guess you can say he gave her a Rebecca Hard-no...

If the Knicks continue to do this, I think I might just have to quit my day job. I want everything to do with the Knicks right now, from reading about them to listening to watching. This young team was never meant to be this good and exciting, and yet here we all are crying tears of joy at our very own Unicorn MVP. I haven’t had this much fun in years. As marcus7 elaborated in the game thread, this is KP’s world after all, and we’re all just living in it.

Next game is tomorrow night in Orlando against the surprisingly strong Magic. Hopefully the Knicks aren’t too tired from tonight’s lashing to hand out another one. See ya there, folks!