The Knicks were in it until the end and very well could have won this game. There's a mix of emotions because we want these guys to play well but a loss is probably better in the long run.
In 26 minutes KOQ put up 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a +5 for his plus/minus. Any team would love a 4/5 off the bench that hustles like O'Quinn and possesses his skill on the offensive end. Which poses the question: is the early part of this season an audition for KOQ to get traded to a more ready team? Another part of what was nice to see from The Knicks and KOQ was them running a lot of offensive sets through their big men. Yes, it is out of necessity due to the point guard play but The Knicks bigs* (KP, KOQ, Beasley, Hernangomez, heck Noah!) are very good at facilitating the offensive sets and put pressure on the defense.
*This excludes Enes Kanter. Kanter is notably a black hole when he gets the ball but he does with it when he gets it.
It would be redundant to write about him every game, but tonight Kristaps delivered an efficient 33 points and 5 rebounds.
Tobias Harris went for 31 points and 6 rebounds while Anthony Tolliver looked all-world when he was on the court, finishing wih a +21 plus/minus in his 20 minutes. Harris is an underrated good player but he's not as good as the Knicks allowed him to be. Tolliver is a versatile, bench wing who the Knicks made look like Scottie Pippen for a chunk of the game. Taller wings are a tough assignment for Courtney Lee, while Hardaway has struggled on defense altogether. Meanwhile, the Knicks' big men face their own issues when forced to guard athletic wings. It will be interesting to see if THJ can pick up his wing defense or if someone like Beasley or Lance Thomas (DNP- CD) will find themselves playing more minutes.
Hernangomez had a DNP - CD. With Kanter and KOQ playing well, where will he find minutes? With Noah returning in a few weeks, will the Knicks be able to find a trade for some of these guys? McDermott and THJ both had some decent looks that they didn't connect on. McDermott was unlucky with some shots, while THJ found his stroke towards the end of the game. Sessions and Baker both looked like serviceable back up PGs for stretches of the game. I don't know if that is good news or bad news to be honest.
The Knicks take on the Celtics in Boston. The Celtics depth has been hurt by multiple injuries early in the season, most notably the gruesome leg injury to Gordon Hayward. The ebbs and flows of this game will be interesting to see as the Knicks' bench is their strength right now while the Celtics' bench has struggled.