Knicks sweep the first two preseason games with impressive wins against Pacers and Wizards
Once again, Knicks basketball is back. It was a long summer in which the front office went through a great draft, picking players such as Jericho Sims, Miles McBride or Quentin Grimes but then the month of August came and they struck gold, signing four time NBA All-Star, Bronx native Kemba Walker. One week later, a double bronze medalist at the FIBA Basketball World Cup with the France national team, Evan Fournier joined forces.
The front office also did a good job extending several key contracts: Derick Rose, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel each got a three year deal while Taj Gibson got a two year contract. Finally, All Star Julius Randle signed a four year $117.09 million extension that includes a player option in 2025.
So with all things set, the Knicks stormed the first two preseason games. On Tuesday night on a half capacity Madison Square Garden, the Pacers were handed a 21 points L (104-125). Head coach Tom Thibodeau rotated 14 players and nearly all scored.
Julius Randle scored a game high 20 points, also collecting 9 boards, and RJ Barrett followed with 17 buckets. Gibson dropped 14 of them and the newest front court duo Walker and Fournier delivered 12 each. Sophomores Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley both dropped 10 points off the bench while veterans Rose and Burks, alongside rookie Sims scored 8.
The Knicks had no problem in game one and controlled the game from one end to the other. Things got very clear when they went on a 19-0 run in a span of about 7 minutes that extended over the second and the third quarter.
Last night, New York played in Washington and once again, they made another victim (117-99). This time, without Randle in a game where Obi Toppin got into the starting lineup. The Knicks absolutely crushed their opponents from the three point line, shooting 24-52 from behind the arc. The regular season record for three points made is currently 20!
Toppin, who finished with 13 points and 8 boards got into foul trouble early and Kevin Knox backed him up. Knox went 4-6 from long distance finishing with 12 points and 6 boards. Barrett led the team with 18 buckets and Rose led the bench scoring 15. Walker and Fournier combined 20 buckets.
Up-next: The Knicks (2-0) will host the Detroit Pistons (1-0) on Wednesday night from 7:30 pm