Photo Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
After blockbuster trade, the Knicks Tank proceeds normal operations
After completing a blockbuster deal that sent disgruntled star Kristaps Porzingis along with Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke to the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks were shorthanded in last night’s game against the Boston Celtics. In the deal, the Knicks received disgruntled second-year player Dennis Smith Jr.,Wesley
Coming into the last night’s game, the “Knicks Tank” has been dropping losing bombs all over the league. The Knicks were riding an 11-game losing streak. Also, in the Zion Williamson standings, the Knicks currently hold the top position with a terrible record of 10-40. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Celtics were able to stroll out of Madison Square Garden with an easy 113-99 win. Now, the Knicks have lost 12 straight and are driving, with accelerating speed, towards landing a top-3 pick.
Damyean Dotson and Kevin Knox step up for shorthanded Knicks
For a shorthanded team, the Knicks battled the Celtics throughout the game. Players who wouldn’t get much playing time had the platform to showcase what they can do on the court. Damyean Dotson made a strong case as to why he should start at shooting guard for the rest of the season. He played 38 minutes and finished with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting. The downside to his performance was his plus-minus. Usually, in limited minutes, Dotson is able to impact a game positively. In starter’s minutes, he wasn’t as impactful, and he had a team worst -16.
Along with Dotson, Kevin Knox stepped up his game. Without Hardaway Jr. on the court, Knox shot the ball to his heart’s desire. He played a team-high 40 minutes and put up 21 shots, which resulted in only 21 points. Lately, Knox has fallen back in love with the 3-point shot, but last night, he mixed his game up a bit. Even though he shot seven times from behind the arc, he drove to the basket more and didn’t settle for long-range jumpers often. Both Dotson and Knox showed they have the potential to be a part of the Knicks future.
Knicks fans begin recruitment process for Celtics Kyrie Irving
With Hardaway Jr. and Lee’s contract off the books, the Knicks potentially have the cap space for two max contracts. Also, going into this year’s free agency, the Knicks will have the most cap space available. One of the players said to be on the Knicks radar is Kyrie Irving. Recently, rumors have come out saying there’s growing uncertainty that Irving will re-sign with the Celtics. To make matters worse, before last night’s game, Irving told reporters he doesn’t owe anyone anything and wait until July 1st to ask him about free agency. Many interpreted Irving’s words to mean there’s a good chance he leaves Boston in the offseason.
Knicks fans were aware of Irving’s recent words and stepped up their recruitment process. During several points of the game, loud chants of “we want Kyrie” could be heard echoing throughout the Garden. After the game, Irving showed his appreciation to the fans while reiterating his commitment to the Celtics this season. He led all scorers with 23 points, and he finished with 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
Knicks battle for three quarters then collapse in the fourth
After three quarters, the Knicks fought and clawed to be within seven points of the Celtics, 80-73. Afterward, the Celtics showed their superiority. Terry Rozier and Jaylen Brown nailed back-to-back shots to push the Celtics lead to eleven. Allonzo Trier responded with a layup, but the Celtics answered Trier’s basket with a 12-4 run. Marcus Morris nailed back-to-back threes to push the Celtics lead to eighteen, 97-79. From that point on, the game was smooth sailing for the Celtics.
New look Knicks squad will make debut on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies
On Sunday, the Knicks will be back to near full strength to face the Grizzlies. It’ll be interesting to see how the Knicks perform with the new additions to the roster. Will these new pieces help the Knicks win more games or will the Knicks continue their tanking ways? Sunday’s matinee action between the Knicks and Grizzlies will be interesting.