Knicks get third win under coach Miller as they destroy the Hawks 143-120
Is this a new team we’re seeing under coach Mike Miller? It might just be one because the Knicks are actually playing good basketball. In a game against a fellow rock bottom team, New York looked as the defending champions as they absolutely crushed Atlanta 143-120. No overtimes.
The Knicks haven’t scored 143 points in regulation since 1980. Miller is now 3-3 since taking over and this team is actually watchable, the young players are hungry and productive.
RJ Barrett led the Knicks with a career high 27 points, Mitchell Robinson had career numbers as well with 22 buckets and 13 rebounds and Marcus Morris added 22 points too. But there’s more to it. Three other players finished in double figures: Kevin Knox and Julius Randle with 17 points each and Bobby Portis with 11 buckets.
The Knicks (who never trailed) led by one point with 2:23 left in the first quarter before storming on a 21-0 run from which the Hawks never recovered. They scored 32 points or more in each quarter – with a 41 point record in the first and had 77 at halftime, a season high. They shot 55.8% from the field, including 46.4% from behind the arc. They also collected 55 rebounds to Hawks’ 36.
“We’re trending in the right direction. I’m not going to go out and say we’re going to make the playoffs, but … that’s what we’re fighting towards. That’s the goal. We’re definitely trying hard. Hopefully, we do make it. If we continue to play like this and pull together, we have a great shot to do it.”
– Marcus Morris
They led by as many as 31 early in the third and the only question was how far will they go? Playoff talk rose in the locker rooms as Morris addressed after the game.
“I’m not going to say we’re going to make the playoffs, but that’s what we’re fighting toward. If we continue to play like this and pull together, we have a great shot to do it.”
Dennis Smith Jr. who seemed to had lost his spot in the rotation found his way back on the court and with him as the floor general the Knicks went on that 21-0 run. Smith scored 8 points along with 5 boards and 5 dimes.
The Hawks, who lost their 5th straight, were led by Trae Young’s 42 point effort. He was followed by DeAndre Hunter with 19 buckets.
In other news, the New York Knicks announced the hiring of David Blatt as their basketball operations consultant. Blatt, 60 years old, who retired from coaching led LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 83-40 rcord between 2014-2016, which included a trip to the NBA Finals in 2015.