The New York Knicks defeated Cleveland 101-97 on the road to kick their first-round series off and snatch home-court advantage from the Cavs as early as possible.
Your New Yorkers held a practice session inside the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, OH, on Monday, and after they were done with the sweating, they spoke to some media members.
Some players from Cleveland have made it literally clear that they will come back stronger for Game 2 on Tuesday, willing to “hit first and see the refs react” instead of “being punched in the face and just laying down to it.”
Here are some news and quotes from your New York Knicks members and their opponents following Monday’s practice, this time centered around the ongoing talk involving the physicality of the lads from Manhattan and the soft play of the complainers from Ohio.
Isaac Okoro on Jalen Brunson’s “antics” and the Cavs gameplan going forward
Isaac Okoro mentioned Brunson’s “antics” when it comes to his style of offensive play saying that the Knicks point guard “embellishes contact” and that knowing that, the Cavs will try to “get him off the free-throw line, not falling for his pump-fakes, and his antics.”
Okoro thinks it will all come down to “being disciplined,” and most importantly for Cleveland’s chances at retaking home-court advantage to “talking to the refs, trying to let [them] know some of the antics [Brunson] might do well.”
Asked about a description of those “antics”, Okoro said that Brunson is great at “nodding his head back, falling on the ground when not a lot of physicality is used on him,” and other “little things to help you get fouls and get to the free-throw line.” At least Okoro acknowledged that “a lot of players do that” and that any and every defender “have to adjust to that and be smart.”
He could have just left it there, but it turns out Okoro couldn’t help himself. “[Brunson] tries to draw cheap fouls,” said the Cavalier, “so when guarding him, you got to be mentally prepared for all that.” Sheesh...
Jalen Brunson’s reaction to the “antics” saga and what he expects for Game 2
The Knicks point guard spoke to the media after Monday’s practice, sharing his thoughts about a whole bunch of things, including the anticipated reaction from the series-trailing Cavaliers.
“Whenever someone loses in the playoffs, they’re gonna bring it the next game,” Brunson said. “That’s how it always is. The next game, it’s always more intensity, more physicality, and all that.”
“I expect them to adjust—they’re a great team, great coach, they played well all year, they play really well here. They’re going to respond. We just gotta be ready to match the intensity,” Brunson continued. “It’s gonna be a dogfight.”
“They're gonna bring it next game…That's how it always is…from my experience, next game's always more intensity, physicality, all that. I expect them to adjust. Great team, great coach…it's gonna happen. They're a great team for a reason"— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) April 18, 2023
— Jalen Brunson on Cavs in Game 2 pic.twitter.com/aW6jEKafDs
Ed Cohen of MSG Network asked Brunson about Donovan Mitchell, to whom Brunson gave some flowers saying that Mitchell is an “unreal player” and a “superstar ever since he set foot in this league.”
Brunson respects the fact that Mitchell came from the deep depths since day one, saying that “where he’s been, from High School... he wasn’t the highest ranked recruit… but his work ethic’s got him to this point.”
“That’s just how he is. That’s just who he is as a person, as a player. Nothing but respect,” Brunson finished.