Wonderful things happen when you move the ball. The Knicks got their first road win of the season last night in Dallas after tallying 26 assists and getting seven players in double figures for a comfortable 118-106 over the Mavericks.
This game was fun to watch and you can see these young players have sky-high confidence right now.
TRIER TAKES OVER: It feels like every game you have to ask the rhetorical question of how this kid went undrafted. He was a tour de force by scoring 14 points in the third quarter alone. And he does it on an assortment of moves while never shying away from contact.
A team-leading 23 points in 24 minutes on 8/10 shooting and 6/7 from the line. He’s averaging 10 points on 53% shooting for the season. I can see him upping that to 12-14 points at this pace. He’s still a bit careless at times with the ball (3 turnovers this game), but his offensive output is such a bench spark you can live with it.
MITCH’S AMAZING LOB: Coach Fiz went on record this week saying Robinson’s defensive presence was the main reason he got the starting nod. This game showed how disruptive his length is to opposing teams. Outside of his one big block, he got three steals off pass deflections that stopped lobs and open layups. This lead to fastbreak opportunities in the third that seemed to demoralize the Mavs.
While his stat-line was impressive (13 pts, 10 rebs, 3 stls, 1 blk), the memorable play of the night was his 180 alley oop catch from Trier. I hope Rasheed Wallace continues working with the team as Mitch’s current glaring weakness is his boxing out on rebounds.
SHARING THE BALL: After a struggle-filled second quarter where New York was outscored 32-23, the Knicks were down 56-59 at halftime. Mario Henzonja deserves a mention here as his 11 point blitz in 9 minutes kept the Mavs from pulling away.
The fear of a flat third is always there for this team. Instead, the Knicks stormed out with excellent ball movement and bench contributions. Lance Thomas was the second part of the bench 1-2 punch this quarter when he scored all of his 10 points on 3/4 shooting. They outscored the Mavs 33-18 in the period.
It says a lot that Tim Hardaway Jr.’s performance was viewed as having a “quiet” night (18pts, 6 rebs, +10). Because of Trier and others like Damyean Dotson (11 pts, 8 rebs, +18) and Enes Kanter (13 pts, 5 rebs), Timmy wasn’t needed at all in the fourth.
MUDIAY’S BEST GAME: This might be his best performance as a Knick. He was vital to New York extending their lead early in the fourth behind a nifty fast-break dunk pass to Trier and hitting back to back mid-range jumpers. The stats aren’t eye-popping (6 pts, 4 asts), but he controlled the pace very well and kept the Mavs
sslower players off-balance on defense.
- Has anyone considered the crazy thought that Kevin Knox might not turn out to be our best rookie?
- I hope the team doesn’t get comfortable because the struggling Wizards are next up. Washington got booed off their own floor last night so they’ll be highly motivated come Sunday.
- Courtney Lee’s neck issues worry me. It’ll be hard to trade him and we don’t want to hurt our future cap space by stretching the last 2 years of his contract.
- Dennis Smith Jr. sure looked frustrated with that hard-foul and step-over stunt he pulled on Ntilikina. Lord knows Frank still has a long ways to go. But getting another look at DSJ, particularly his defense and six turnovers, makes me more secure in our draft choice.