The New York Knicks defeated the Washington Wizards, 114-92, on Friday night in DC. That will likely cause some consternation among Knicks fans, as it drops the Knicks behind the Wiz and into 11th place in the draft lottery standings. Washington finishes their season Sunday at the Hornets, so there’s little chance they will fall back into a tie with the Knicks in the standings.
Oh well. I’m sure head coach Tom Thibodeau will talk about the never-say-die spirit of his team, who played to win even when the season is lost. Having watched this game, I would say that’s mostly bullshit. The Wizards sat Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kristaps Porzingis, relying instead on some of their younger players, like Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija. The Knicks mopped the floor with Washington Friday night because their young duo of Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley are much better.
Obi and IQ stole the show in DC. Hachimura had a fine game, with 21 points. But he was no match for Toppin, who scored a career-high 35 points on 14-22 shooting.
The new and much-improved Obi jumper was working overtime, as he sank 6 of 9 from beyond the arc.
ANOTHER CAREER HIGH FOR OBI TOPPIN— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) April 9, 2022
24 POINTS NOW pic.twitter.com/9GPRzBRGjT
IQ won’t get as many headlines, but he was ruthlessly clinical on his way to a 23-point, 10-assist, 6-rebound performance. The IQ-Obi connection was unstoppable.
The only black mark on the game, other than the tanking stuff, is the fact that RJ Barrett appeared to injure his knee late in the second quarter. He didn’t play the second half, and I’d be surprised if we saw him play in the season finale Sunday. Heal up, RJ. And let’s hope you get many more minutes with IQ and Obi next season.