Porzingis, Knicks drop season opener 84-105 to Anthony, Thunder

As a new NBA season debuted, the new look rebuid mode Knicks faced a red hot new Thunder squad. With Carmelo Anthony and Paul George getting their first official minutes for Oklahoma City, New York were an easy prey and although they had a good first quarter, the Knicks just couldn’t handle Thunder’s deadly trio and lost 84-105. Anthony, George and Russell Westbrook combined 71 points, with Westbrook finishing in triple double (21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists).

Melo scored the first points of the game with a long distance shot but then went empty hand and by the start of the second quarter he had only 4 points in his account. He finished the game however with 22 buckets.

The highlight happened early in the game. While driving against Krispaps Porzingis, Anthony went up for the finisher but the long arm of  KP administrated a clean block on Melo who had a hard time while being guarded by his former team-mate.

Porzingis showed how much he improved over the summer and how serious he is about taking over the face of the franchise. In a recent interview for The Players’ Tribune he mentioned that his goals for this season are: becoming an All Star, winning the Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player. With such high standards set, he torched the Thunder with 31 points and 12 rebounds while defending Melo.

Former Thunder, Enes Kanter had 10 and 7 but unfortunately the rest of the team finished in single digits, except Kyle O’Quinn who collected 10 boards next to his 6 points.

Head coach Jeff Hornacek kept Frank Ntilikina on the bench for most of the game, giving him just 8 minutes on the floor and even less to Willy Hernangomez. The former starter from the previous season played 4 minutes and scored 3 points. The french rookie however was taken out of the game after shooting a couple of air balls and committing a turnover.

Another new Knick who barely saw the floor was Michael Beasley. Sent in with less than 4 minutes in the first quarter, Beasley made an 18-foot jumper from the corner but landed on Russell Westbrook’s foot and sprained his left ankle. He did not returned to the game and fortunately the x-ray came negative. He will miss the home opener against Detroit but he’s expected to be back within a week.

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