The Knicks winning streak reached seven as they humbled the Nets at The Garden on Wednesday night on their way to a 24-point win.
New York evened up the season series against their crosstown rivals behind 39 points and six assists from Jalen Brunson. With the win, New York extended their lead over the Nets for the number five seed to two games. Their lead over the Miami Heat is now 3.5 games before they travel to play them on Friday night.
Obviously, this isn’t the same Brooklyn team from earlier in the season. The losses of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving certainly changed things. However, the Knicks are a different team since those moves were made as well. The addition of Josh Hart has made an enormous impact on the group on and off the floor. Hart only had four points and five assists in the win, but he had the best plus/minus of any Knick at plus-30 and made some key defensive plays including two steals. His defensive work has pushed this team to another level and the effort he provides on the glass is contagious.
Julius Randle had 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Knicks on Wednesday. He has been as consistently strong as any player in the eastern conference over the last three months. There are not many that are ahead of him when it comes production night and night out.
Mitchell Robinson has been a different player recently and is playing some of his best basketball since being picked by New York back in 2018. Quentin Grimes could’ve been traded for the Donovan Mitchell during the offseason. He wasn’t and that decision is continuing to pay off during this season. Grimes had 22 points on six made threes and has a bright future ahead of him.
Finally, RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley each had 15 points in the win. They don’t have to be relied upon to play above their heads to win basketball games. The Knicks have the depth so that Barrett and IQ can flourish when they need to in order for the team to succeed.
This is not the be-all-end-all. The Knicks have very important games coming up and there is still a worthy conversation over whether or not New York is a legitimate “contender” in the eastern conference. However, the Knicks have taken the city back on the court (after never losing it off the floor) and have a massive opportunity to make this a very memorable season in the franchise’s history. As P&T’er HBK99 noted in the comments, the Knicks are truly building something special.
Miami in South Beach is next on Friday night. Tip off is at 8 p.m.