Knicks vs. Bulls (Game 77)

KNICKS WIN 113 – 105

BLUE MOON

It was one of those rare nights last night. At Madison Square Garden, the Knicks took on another sad, sad story in the Chicago Bulls, and they pulled away with a pretty easy victory. A tank fest gone wrong you could say, depending on what side you’re on really.

But New York got off to a commanding start, as Kevin Knox (19 points) went for 11 first quarter points, propelling the squad to a 37-to-19 lead. The Knicks finished up the first quarter on 22-to-2 run before a JaKarr Sampson hook shot capped of the frame.

Still, the Knicks never really let Chicago come too close, despite a fourth quarter where they let their foot off the gas a little. There was a brief window of hope for the Bulls, where they found a rhythm and went on a 9-to-1 run, pulling within five at the 7:51 mark.

Emmanuel Mudiay followed that up run with 10 points to close the game out though, all while the ‘Bockers were lockdown from the three-point arc. The Bulls went the entire fourth quarter without a three, and just like that, the Knicks were 15-game winners!

Mitchell Robinson played a big role in this one, as the now 21-year old rookie continued his incredible consistency, posting another double-double. A big second quarter where Mitch was getting into the paint and drawing fouls earned him half of his 14 points.

By the end, Mitch also racked up 10 more rebounds, assisted on a career-best four, all while keeping the multi-block streak alive, swatting three.

Also playing well, Luke Kornet added a career-high 24 points to go with six boards & three blocks. Luke’s 5-of-7 shooting from afar kept the engine going for the Knicks throughout the game. He’s developing into a nice NBA player who can both shoot and defend. That’s a nice skill to have when you’re over seven feet tall. But also, being seven feet tall can make your dunks the whitest of the white.

But along with Luke, Damyean Dotson played the co splash brother, breaking out of his 3-of-26 shooting slump from three-point land, hitting his first six triples. Dot completed the night with 18 points, six boards, and six assists. He too was hitting shots in the flow of the game all throughout the night, also playing effective defense as usual.

Lastly, it’s great to see Knox playing effectively again. The kid has had a hell of an up & down season, but these last several games for him have been nice to see. He’s shooting within the tempo of the offense, taking smart shots, and getting them to go because of it.

Knox has the stroke to be a very good shooter, it’s just very mental at this point; the mechanics aren’t always the same. When he’s locked in you can see the potential however. That’s also when he starts doing other things as well. Knox rebounded nine last night, while picking up three assists.

The difference between Kadeem Allen & Mudiay was as clear as day. Allen left the game concussed after the first half, but while he was in there, he chipped in with another Allen-like performance, adding seven points, five assists, and three rebounds in just nine minutes. He was a +10 while out there.

Meanwhile, Mudiay, despite a fourth quarter run, finished up with 17 points on 21 shots, playing Mudiay-like defense & a terrible point guard, earning a -10.

It’s insane, man. Allen is a do-it-all, versatile, help-your-team, impactful player, while Mudiay is pretty much a stat-padding inefficient excuse of a point guard. I wish the Knicks would realize this, but you look up and the season’s just about over.

All in all, lots of Knicks played a very effective all-around basketball game tonight, which is something we’ve rarely seen from them this year. Offensively, the ball was swinging around (24 assists), shots were falling (47% 3PT, 18-of-38), and they were aggressive, drawing 25 free-throw attempts (84%).

Defensively, they limited Chicago to four triples all game (24%). Robin Lopez had his way, and so did Sampson–the two combined for 51-&-14–but outside of that the Bulls were entirely lost. Fundamentals are key with a young club like the Knicks, so hopefully this is something they can build off of as they wrap up this disappointing season.

Tomorrow night the Knicks are in Orlando. See ya then. Ciao.

KnicksTape

15-62

 

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(Photo: Mary Altaffer / AP)
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