The New York Knicks could be asserting themselves as one thing greater than a enjoyable regular-season story. With a 133-131, double-overtime victory over the Celtics, on the street, with out Jalen Brunson, on Sunday night time, the Knicks’ win streak has now reached 9 video games.
The Knicks, who gained eight straight again in December, have now recorded two separate win streaks of not less than eight video games in the identical season for the primary time since 1972-73. Incidentally, they gained the NBA title that season.
Are the Knicks legit title contenders this season? Probably not. But you may’t ignore the league’s No. 4 offense, which additionally options the seventh-best level differential. Brunson ought to be a top-10 MVP finisher. Julius Randle, the hero in opposition to Miami on Friday, is an All-Star and has been on a tear because the break. Josh Hart appears just like the proverbial lacking piece. When RJ Barrett, who went for 29 factors and 11 boards on Sunday, is enjoying to his All-Star potential, the Knicks have a respectable Big Three.
The Knicks change their tempo relying on who’s on the court docket as successfully as any staff within the league. One of the fellows pushing that tempo is Immanuel Quickley, who began for Brunson on Sunday and may’ve simply vaulted himself to the highest of the Sixth Man of the Year race with what he did to Boston.
Quickley flat out gained this recreation for the Knicks. As you may see above, he completed with 38 factors, eight rebounds, seven assists, and 4 steals in 55 minutes.
Yeah, you learn that proper. Quickley performed 55 minutes — a Tom Thibodeau particular — and down the stretch of regulation and each time beyond regulation durations, he nonetheless seemed like he had extra vitality than anybody on the ground. In all that point, he dedicated only one turnover. He did not relaxation for one second after halftime.
After the Knicks blew a seven-point lead with underneath 1:30 to play in regulation, they opted to take the ball out of Quickley’s palms for a Randle isolation for the ultimate possession. It was a foul name. It was predictable and vitality sucking as Quickley bought anyplace he wished to get on the court docket.
They did not make that mistake once more, even when they tried to on the finish of the primary OT.
Quickley managed each time beyond regulation durations, aiding Hart for a monster nook 3-pointer after Marcus Smart had opened the primary time beyond regulation with a 3 for the Celtics, who have been seemingly about to grab management. Quickley then hit the floater with 13 seconds remaining which despatched the sport to a second OT.
You’ll see that play began with one other Randle iso, however he couldn’t get a shot off and needed to give it as much as Quickley, a fortuitous improvement for the Knicks that ought to’ve been prevented by simply giving it to Quickley, to start with.
We all know Randle has been superior this season, significantly as an isolation scorer, and sure, he is been taking pictures the lights out from 3 because the All-Star break. But this was Quickley’s recreation. Anybody watching might see that, which begs the query: What recreation was Thibodeau watching?
Nonetheless, all’s effectively that ends effectively, and this ended effectively due to Quickley, who, after sending the sport to double time beyond regulation, then scored the primary 5 factors of the deciding interval. First, with a 30-footer:
On the subsequent possession, he rejected the ball display screen and caught Grant Williams flatfooted as he bolted down a wide-open alley.
Once the Knicks had that lead, they by no means misplaced it within the second OT. An completely breathtaking recreation by either side, however particularly by Quickley and the Knicks, who’re turning from an excellent story right into a respectable playoff menace proper in entrance of our eyes.
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