The New York Knicks screwed around and blew a massive lead (25 points) once again, but they escaped with a 119-113 win anyway thanks to two key sequences.
Sequence No. 1:
Julius Randle got the block, RJ Barrett made the pass, and Jalen Brunson hit the three, but I believe this sequence epitomizes what Immanuel Quickley is all about:
- He contests the larger Mathurin at the rim
- He grabs the rebound
- He rallies his teammates to push the pace before the Pacers can get back on defense.
That last bullet point is huge, because the Knicks are horrible at using pace to exploit advantages in the fourth quarter. It’s all part of Tom Thibodeau’s “slow it down and hope the clock runs out” brand of basketball. But our man IQ is above all that.
Quickley was also involved in the final nail in the coffin, as was fellow neophyte Quentin Grimes.
I’ll tell you what you can’t do is put your center on Quickley in space and expect to get a stop. Big time drive and kick. Grimes’ shot is pure. pic.twitter.com/Do3sFvUTMu— Tom Piccolo (@Tom_Piccolo) January 12, 2023
Let’s credit Brunson here for not demanding the ball back. He trusted IQ to make the right play, and that’s exactly what he did.
I’m still suffering from the effects of the ‘rona, so I can’t give you a proper recap tonight. If you missed the game, just watch the two clips I highlighted, and be thankful you weren’t exposed to the rest of the second half. Antonio will have some player and coach reactions tomorrow.