Prior to this game, the Knicks were the only NBA team that had not tasted victory, while the Nets were a winning squad after playing five.
With a slight adjustment in the starting lineup, coach Jeff Hornacek decided to go with Jarrett Jack instead of Ramon Sessions. The surprising move was decided after Thursday’s practice and Jack, who had 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, seems happy with his new role.
“My job is to make sure the team is ready to play out of the gate. In Boston, our biggest hiccup was turning the ball over. Usually if the point guard does a good job of taking care of the ball, it’s usually contagious. If they don’t it goes the other way.”
– Jarrett Jack
Frank Ntilikina, made his debut after recovering from an ankle injury and alongside Jack was a winning factor. The french rookie had 9 points, 5 assists and had the biggest impact off the bench for New York. Meanwhile, Sessions did not play and Ron Baker was deactivated.
Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 30 points and shot over 50% from the field. It is for the third time in four games when the drops at least 30, after nailing 31 against Thunder in the opening night and 33 against Pistons two days later. He also grabbed 9 boards and was extremely impressed with Ntilikina, whom he praised after the game.
“He’s going to be a triple-double guy. That’s the type of player he is.”
The Nets, who were leading the league in scoring, had a hard time in doing that against a Knicks team that is known for their poor defense. Brooklyn scored under 90 and allowed more than 100 from the worst scoring team.
Head coach Kenny Atkinson acknowledge their inferiority last night and called his team lethargic.
“They were the more energetic team, they were the more physical team. They were denying us left and right. We couldn’t handle their pressure. We were lethargic and we paid for it.”
New York had 5 guys in double figures and they out-rebounded their opponents 55-34.
Courtney Lee scored 13, Enes Kanter had 12, Tim Hardaway Jr delivered 11 and Dougie McDermott shot for 12.
The Knicks haven’t won a game by such a large margin since 2015/16 and last season their biggest victory was by 16 points.