Los Knicks were absolutely en fuego as they took down the defending Eastern Conference Champs. Cleveland looks like they are sleepwalking through the start of the season, while the Knicks were led by the two-headed monster of Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr who combined for 66 points.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Finally! On a normal night this could have gone to KP (32 pts, 12 reb) or Courtney Lee (!) who recorded his first ever double-double (15pts, 10 reb) but THJ needed this. Slumping bad to start the season, Tim went 11-19 from the floor, 5-10 from downtown, finishing with 34 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds. THJ will be the second option on this team and was clearly out of sorts to start the year, but hopefully he can build on this during the upcoming homestand.
This is a bit of a cop out but on the first game of a back to back, all five starters played 33+ minutes including 34-year-old Jarrett Jack. The bench combined to go 5-12 from the field for a total of 13 points. Beasley and Hernangomez had notable DNP-CDs and Kyle O’Quinn had the only positive +/- from the bench.
-Mentioned too casually above, 34-year-old Jarrett Jack played 34 minutes. He did not shoot well but had 9 assists and really feels like he is facilitating the offense.
-Kanter had 18 points and 12 rebounds continuing a strong start to the season.
-Lance Thomas looked world class defending during his 16 minutes and hit his open looks. It will be interesting to see how his minutes develop.
The second half of the back to back has the Knicks hosting the Denver Nuggets. The young but talented Nuggets offense had struggled to start the season but has now won its past two games. Those wins were against the Hawks and the Nets, potentially the two worst teams in the NBA, so it isn't much to write home about. Watch for how much more bench action is used because it is the second game of a back to back.