Trier and Robinson Lead Knicks to 118-106 Road Win Over Mavs


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.


Iso Zo to the Rescue: Trier Lights Up Nets in 107-102 Win


Let the Allonzo Trier hype begin! Fans got to see why Coach Fizdale is ok with iso plays for Trier as the rookie gunner went for 20 first half points and finished with an efficient 25 points on 8/14 shooting (8/8 from the line) in 26 minutes. Yes, it’s just one game and a preseason one at that. But on a team low with players who can create their own shots, Trier displayed why it’ll be hard to keep him stashed in the G-League.

The Knicks started very slow, going down 9-20 early. The ball wasn’t moving and the team was lethargic on defense. Trier became that offensive spark with his assortment of moves. His mid-range jumper was money and he got to the rim with an elusive first step. His teammates recognized he was on fire and rode the wave to take a small halftime lead.

Trier is on a two-way contract. This means should the Knicks want to add him to the 15-man roster, cuts need to be made. With Joakim Noah on the way out, NY might also take a hard look at removing Luke Kornet if Trier keeps this up.

KEEPING POISE: The Knicks had a comfortable 12-point lead early in the 4th when Fizdale cleared his bench. Of course, the bench players lead by Baker and Mudiay got too lax and allowed the Nets to crawl back in and narrow the lead to just two points in the final three minutes. From there, Damyean Dotson (4/4, 8 points) proved to be a stabilizing force by hitting two clutch mid-range jumpers.

On the defensive end, Baker had a key steal (his second of the evening) that lead to a Hicks fast-break dunk to put the Knicks in control for good.

One of the big question marks this years is how the young kids would respond in late game situations. Mistakes were made, but I was encouraged to see no one got down on themselves and the defensive intensity was high.

BEAST MODE: Enes Kanter went on a rampage last night, dropping 22 points and grabbing 20 rebounds in 27 minutes. For all his defensive woes, Kanter is a valuable piece when used correctly. I don’t believe we’ll be paying him the money he wants to keep him, but expect many more light-out nights like this during the year.

QUIET NIGHTS: Kevin Knox had a lowkey game, shooting 50% (3/6) and scoring 7 points. Mitchell Robinson didn’t light up the scoreboard either (2 points, 2 rebounds), but he had two sensational blocks. One came while stuffing a layup attempt. The second was even more impressive when he chased down a three-point attempt and managed to keep the ball inbounds. The league will learn so enough to respect this kid’s wingspan.

GUARD WATCH: Frank Ntilikina (9 points, 2 blocks) had some good moments. Early on he drove to the basket for an emphatic dunk. His defense included a strong block to prevent a layup which lead to a Trier three-point play.

Hardaway spent too much time camped out on the perimeter. He was 3/11 with his best moments coming when he decided to get in the paint. Mudiay was just awful all-around (1/5 and -10). Even with our roster I’m finding difficulty figuring out where he fits.

The Knicks conclude their preseason Friday night at home against the Pelicans.

Kevin Knox Selected to All NBA Summer League First Team


After four Summer League games, Kevin Knox has achieved his first NBA milestone.

The Knicks rookie was the only team member selected to the Summer League’s All NBA First Team. He averaged 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in 32 minutes per game.  Knox’s scoring average ranked fourth among all Summer League players.

The one glaring improvement area is the 35% field goal percentage, exacerbated by poor shot selection.

Overall, it was promising Summer League campaign and gives us a lot to forward to in preseason.


Summer League: Knox Struggles and Robinson Dominates in Loss to Celtics


The Knicks’s Summer League campaign hit another pothole with a 82-75 loss to the Celtics. While Kevin Knox had his worst shooting game to date, Mitchell Robinson gave Knicks fans a lot to cheer for as he was a terror in the paint (and even defensively on the perimeter.

Our loss to the Lakers gave us a preview of how bad this squad is without a competent point guard. Once again missing Ntilikina, the offense failed to get any consistency. this made Knox feel like he had to force the issue. He didn’t get many calls on his drives and he looked uncomfortable on post-up attempts. He went just 5/20 from the floor for 15 points. I like the idea of Knox trying to work in the paint, but I believe that won’t get consistent until he gets some “man strength” a few seasons in.


Robinson had a loaded stat sheet with 17 points (8/10), 12 boards (7 offensive) and 6 blocks, including another close-out one on a three-pointer. The kid is just a ridiculous athlete. He caught a few flashy alley oops and was there to clean up missed layups and jumpers. Let’s also not overlook that he once again disrupted the passing lanes and snatched 3 steals.


Allonzo Trier had a solid scoring and shooting night (17 points, 5/8) and got to the line (6/6). But most observers have been focusing on his “ball-hog” tendencies. I feel that’s been highly unfair over the last two games since he’s been forced to play out of position. Trier is clearly not a PG. However, it is reasonable to expect him to work on his playmaking and off-ball movement. I’m interested to see if he make the main roster. Even with his flaws, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Trier get the nod over a slumping Damyean Dotson.

The Knicks are back in action Friday afternoon (4:30 pm ET) on ESPN3 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Summer League: Knox Goes Off for 29, But Knicks Fall to Lakers


Kevin Knox had another impressive game last night in the Knicks’ 109-92 loss to the Lakers, scoring a game-high 29 points. Without Frank Ntilikina (groin), the Knicks had struggles with pace and executing plays. The team still showed real fight in coming back from 25 down and had a brief lead before running out of gas.

KNOX SETTLES INTO HIS BEST SCORING NIGHT:  Our prized rookie was looking shaky early on, going 0/6 in the first quarter. Without Knox’s offense, thr Lakers had a 53-42 halftime lead and extended it to 25 early in the third.

Then Knox exploded. He had a 16-point third quarter punctuated by two late three pointers to get New York within striking distance. By the fourth, the Knicks were able to get a brief 82-78 lead before falling apart defensively and allowing the Lakers to knock down three consecutive three-pointers and pull away.

“We were down — I wanted to make sure I did the best I can to help my team come back,’’ Knox said. “It was good feeling. My teammates did a great job finding me.

“Collectively it was a good team comeback. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the win.”

Knox went 5/7 from downtown and I’m already seeing visions of excellent floor spacing with Hardaway, KP and Ntilikina all being threats from behind the arc. Knox was 9/22 overall, but that’s mainly due to some ill-advised fourth quarter shots while attempting to get us back in the game. At one point, Knox had 27 points in 27 minutes on 17 attempts.


GETTING MITCH BACK INTO TEAM BALL: Our other rook in Mitchell Robinson put up good individual numbers — 13 points (5/6), 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. But he also lodged a minus 33 on the floor, the highest between both clubs. At times his athleticism lets him get away with mistakes, like this impressive closeout block on a three-pointer.

But the Lakers and Jazz have shown being a freakish athlete can’t overcome good ball movement. Tightening up his help defense and rotations are the two main areas where Robinson will need to improve.


ALLONZO TRIER UNDER CONTROL: ‘Zo is not a point guard. It was a lot to ask to put the ball in his hands so much with Ntilikina out. Surprisingly, he stayed under control and delivered his most balanced game to date: 21 points (8/13), 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

We’ll need all the scoring we can get this year so I’m hopeful Zo can bring this mentality to our bench unit.


IS DOTSON OK?: For the second consecutive game, Damyean Dotson has looked terrible. In 29 minutes managed just 4 points (2/9) and was 0/3 from downtown. It’s still very early but going through a slump already is concerning. I can see Trier taking his spot if he continues to struggle in preseason.

The Knicks will enter the Summer League playoffs on Thursday afternoon (ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.) against the Celtics.

Kevin Knox’s 22 Points Leads Knicks Over Hawks in Summer League Debut


There’s still time to apologize if you booed this man on draft night. Kevin Knox lived above the rim and displayed his talent in transition by scoring 22 points and leading the Knicks over the Trae Young-led Hawks 91-89. All eyes were on this game as it was not only the Summer League debut for these new Knicks, but also coach David Fizdale’s first chance to evaluate his young charges. As expected, they were far from perfect, but this squad has the athleticism and energy we’ve lacked for years.

WE HAVE A STUD!: For the Knicks’ very first basket, Kevin Knox went coast to coast for a thunderous dunk. It would be a recurring theme throughout the night as our prize rookie had an extra gear Atlanta couldn’t match.

His shooting was a struggle (1/7 from three-point range), but he managed to go 8/20 and most importantly, showed he can score in multiple ways when the jumper isn’t falling. Speaking of said jumper, his form is smooth so there’s no doubt he can become a formidable three-point shooter.

WE HAVE ANOTHER PAINT DEFENDER: With Kanter back and KP still out, I’ve had bad visions of open layups and constant PNR abuse. Those fears have been relieved by our other rookie in Mitchell Robinson. The 7’footer has freakish length which he used to great effect in the passing lanes and harassing penetrators. He notched a game-high four blocks, including a beautiful swat on a point-blank dunk.

The glaring problem with Mitchell’s game today is not even his fault — his teammates constantly missed him cutting to the basket for easy dunks. Nonetheless, he finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds (four offensive).

THE NEW JR?: Allonzo Trier might just be our new JR Smith and I mean that with all the good and bad it entails. Trier is a chucker and we’ll have nights where we want to strangle him. He was one of the guys not looking for Mitchell when the big man cut to the rim. Trier did prove valuable in the fourth with a few timely jumpers and icing the game at the free throw line.

Trier was only 5/12 from the field, but he ended up having a well-rounded game to the tune of 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

SAME OLD FRANK?: The highlight videos we’ve seen over the last few weeks had us hopeful Frank Ntilikina (5 points, 5 assists, 2 steals) would level up this year. His first quarter was solid — we saw him giving Trae Young fits in the backcourt and forcing late shot-clock heaves.

Unfortunately, it went downhill from there. We saw the same problems from last year — picking up his dribble too early, indecisive about his shot and not running the offense smoothly (unexpected passes leading to turnovers).

If you’re holding out hope, you’ll say this was just one game and he’ll get better with Fizdale in his ear. On the glass half empty side, you’ll say Frank was out there struggling against lower competition.

FINAL THOUGHTS: It finally feels like we have a “modern” team! Our squad is filled with young, athletic guys with length to guard any position. How about Troy Williams being an energy spark all night (17 points)? He really kept us alive when the offense was struggling. It was nice to see Damyean Dotson in the huddle pushing everyone to step it up defensively. We have some work to do on that end, particularly when guarding the perimeter. Yes, there will be growing pains. But the Knicks finally have a clear vision for the future and aren’t chasing free agent pipe dreams.

I’m already psyched about tomorrow night’s game against Utah.

Warriors Hammer Knicks in 3rd Quarter, Take 125-111 Win


If the Knicks needed further proof of how far they have to go, the Warriors provided a somber reminder last night at MSG. New York fought on even terms in the first half for a one point lead at halftime (64-63). The defending champs then went off in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks 39-18 on the strength of repeated three-pointers from Steph Curry (21 points) and Klay Thompson (26 points) to take a 125-111 win. This was an expected domination, but New York’s focus on youth development provided some encouraging backcourt moments.

WHAT GOT INTO MUDIAY?: Once again, Emmanuel Mudiay got the start at point guard. Surprisingly, his outside shot was cooking in the first half to the tune of 3 three-pointers in the first half. In 31 minutes, he scored 20 points (8/15, 3/5 from 3) and dished out 7 assists. When his shot is going, it helps tremendously in spacing the floor and allowing for other guys to get open shots.

Unfortunately, when the Warriors upped their second half defense, Mudiay came back down to earth. I’m not big on PG’s that can’t shoot consistently. For me to have any interest in Mudiay staying past this season, we need to see a consistent shooting efforts like this in the next 20+ games.

NTILIKINA FINDING THE GROOVE: Even if Frank ends up being our future PG, I feel this time playing off-guard is proving essential to his NBA development. It’s forcing him to look for his shot and not defer on drives. He shot 50% (6/12) in 28 minutes, making this one of his better shooting performances this year. He had a few defensive blunders when trying to deal with GSW’s ball movement, but that’s expected when facing arguably the best passing team in the league.

BURKE’S FINE PLAY CONTINUES: Trey Burke’s Allen Iverson impersonation continued in the first half with him actually outplaying Curry. He took the former MVP off the dribble several times for dazzling drive and jumpers. His 18 points on 8/15 shooting was strong, but Curry woke up in the second half and exploited him on PnR and pullups, goading Burke into a four-point play and several demoralizing threes in that back-breaking third quarter run.

WE NEED 3-PT SHOOTERS!: Games like this show how badly we’re behind the times when it comes to outside shooting. The Knicks finished 10/25 from behind the arc while the Warrior hits 15 threes, essentially accounting for the point disparity. When Lance Thomas (3/4) and Mudiay (3/5) end up being your best shooters, it says a lot about your team’s ability to compete.

The Knicks get an extended break until Friday when they begin a West Coast trip against the Clippers.

Useless Backcourt: Sixers 108, Knicks 92


Be forewarned — it’s only going to get more ugly from here on out. The Knicks were in Philly last night and delivered another stinker of a second half to lose 108-92. I would love to say “trust the process,” but outside of hoping for a high lottery pick, this looks like a team without direction.

BACKCOURT WOES: In my recap of the Indy loss, I mentioned some concerns about the Mudiay-Ntilikina backcourt, namely being that neither can shoot. They combined for 3/11 and just 2 assists in 40 minutes of play. Frank was especially awful in that he didn’t score (0/4) or get any assists in his 21 minutes. In today’s game, you can’t expect to be competitive with these type of numbers.

More alarming was the fact Trey Burke only got four minutes. This was a game where I would’ve liked to see if he could’ve given us an offensive spark. Ironically, Jarrett Jack proved to be our most productive PG, tallying 11 points in 18 minutes. However, his failure to get even one assist shows how bad the offense was.

2ND HALF SURRENDER: After going down by as much as 12, the Kicks managed to only trail by two (55-57) at the half. But our usual glaring defensive holes didn’t give you much hope for improvement. The Sixers were shooting 61% (57% from three). We went down early in the third due to relying on crappy long jumpers, and then started to get killed by transition buckets from Ben Simmons and Robert Convington.

The Knicks made their usual faux runs and even tied it late in the third before Philly started to pull away. We got outscored 13-22 in the fourth and the miserable evening was capped by backup TJ McConnell notching his first-career triple double.

HARDAWAY STILL LOST: Junior’s shooting woes continued last night. He was 4/16 and a putrid 0/8 from downtown. Not to mention he got killed repeatedly on screens. His confidence is in the toilet right now and I’m beginning to wonder if he’s feeling any ill effects from the leg fracture.

“I wish I could make a fucking shot,” Hardaway fumed in the post game. “I am frustrated. Kind of in a slump right now. Just got to try to shoot my way out of it. Can’t harp on it. You can’t keep on letting it go. I mean, it’s too many games in a row now. I’ve got to figure it out. My teammates are doing a great job of encouraging me every step of the way. I’m not going to lie and sit here and laugh about it. It’s frustrating. Pissing me off.”

POSITIVES: Kanter had his umpteenth double double of the year with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Courtney Lee was our lone spark of the bench with 18 points on 50% shooting (3/4 from downtown). Beasley shot 9/17 to finish with 22 points.

The Knicks have now dropped seven straight and sit at ninth in the “tankathon” sweepstakes. We face the Wizards Wednesday night at MSG.


Mudiay Shows Promise in Knicks Loss to Pacers


Losses are to be expected in the wake of the devastating ACL injury last week to Kristaps Porzingis. In the meantime, us fans will have to look for hope where we can find it. Last night it came in the debut of Emmanuel Mudiay, who had a double double (14 points, 10 assists) and played most of his 29 minutes alongside Frank Ntilikina.

Hornacek’s rotations looked the best it has in weeks with aging starter Jarrett Jack only getting 8 minutes, allowing the young guards to work through mistakes and build chemistry. Ntilikina (12 points,+8) looked more comfortable playing off-ball and allowing Mudiay to push the pace and initiate offense.

However, the big concern remains Mudiay’s shaky jumper (5/14 FG). There were several times where he passed up on open shots to try and get closer to the rim. This allowed defenders enough time to close out and force the offense to reset. He can get away with that against the second units of decent teams like Indy. But against starters or good teams, it remains to be seen how detrimental his lack of shooting will be to our backcourt and overall offense.

Outside of the backcourt, Kyle O’Quinn (14 points, 9 rebounds) and Enes Kanter (17 points, 11 rebounds) delivered their usual gritty efforts. O’Quinn was an early fourth quarter spark and at one point scored 7 straight points (including his first trey of the season) to bring the Knicks within 10 after trailing by 20.

Unfortunately, the Knicks just couldn’t get stops when it mattered. They repeatedly gave up offense rebounds late in the fourth and couldn’t contain Victor Oladipo, who came on strong from a slow first half to drop 30 points in a 121-113 Pacers win.

We’ll see if the Mudiay-Ntilikina tandem can repeat their chemistry tonight at the Garden against the 76ers.

Season Sweep: Kanter and Porzingis Dominate Nets 111-95


If only we could play the Nets the rest of the season. Riding monster efforts from Kristaps Porzingis (28 pts, 6/8 from 3) and Enes Kanter (20pts 20 rebs, 5 asts), the Knicks completed a 4-game season sweep of the Nets 111-95. After falling behind 3-0 in the opening minute, the Knicks never trailed and go whatever they wanted on offense.

KP’s CAREER NIGHT: Porzingis set a personal record with six three-pointers. The Nets were a step-slow in respecting the Unicorn’s range and he never lost his early rhythm. With Kanter dominating the post, this gave the offense a potent inside-outside punch that kept the floor spread.

PROTECT KANTER AT ALL COSTS: Listen, I want all talk of trading this guy to stop. Defensive issues aside, he’s one of the more talented big men we’ve had in years. His offensive rebounding (5) sucked the life out of Brooklyn when they attempted to make runs. Going 8/10 from the floor and looking for teammates (5 assists) makes this one of Kanter’s best games of the season.


DEFENSIVE EFFORT: Although Brooklyn was held to 42% shooting, there was still glaring issues that can’t happen against credible teams. The Nets got multiple open threes but couldn’t convert. It was more alarming that several opportunities like this came in the fourth quarter when the Knicks’s 25-point lead had been slashed to 10.

On the positive side, the Knicks were after it when it came to passing lanes and preventing drives. Frank Ntilikina looked solid at two-guard with Trey Bruke manning the point. Frankie was a +10 off the bench with 8 points, 5 assists and one steal.

The Knicks return tonight with a tough road game against the Celtics.