Usually I am upset with a loss, but I am actually very content with this one. For the 7th seeded Knicks to stay within five points for a majority of the game with the most star filled team since the Warriors is a great sign of things to come. The Knicks lost on Monday 112-117 against the Brooklyn Nets, now moving to 20-20 on the season and staying in the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Brooklyn Nets now move half a game behind the #1 seed 76ers and are pushing for the first seed in the East. The Knicks certainly surprised me with the amount of fight they had, especially without Mitchell Robinson and Derrick Rose.
The Nets did not have Kevin Durant, but still played very well. Kyrie Irving had 34 points and 4 assists in 37 minutes, leading both teams in scoring. James Harden dropped a quiet triple double, scoring 21 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, and dishing out 15 assists. Jeff Green came out of nowhere with 20 points last night, filling in for Kevin Durant’s missing duties. The Nets are now 27-13 rolling into the first seed spot if they can get another win, only having one more loss than the 1st seed 76ers.
On the Knicks side of the ball I am very proud of how this team fought the entirety of the game. Reggie Bullock played 42 minutes and had 19 points, something I never would have expected. Julius Randle played 41 minutes and had 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists. Julius Randle keeps up his normal pace of ball looking for a playoff game in the post-season and hopefully an All-NBA team selection. RJ Barrett played fantastic scoring 23 points in 35 minutes, something we needed in this game for sure. Immanuel Quickley played well once again, making his first career start! IQ dropped 21 points in 34 minutes, and the rookie continues having a killer season. Some of the more disappointing performances fall into the men who have had to fill Mitch’s spot. Nerlens Noel played 20 minutes and had 0 points and 5 rebounds. Taj Gibson played 24 minutes and had 4 points and 4 rebounds. Our lack at the PF and center position is something that will change once Robinson is back in the rotation. Frank Ntilikina also had a goose egg on the board, in 16 minutes scoring 0 points. Despite the lows of our performance, I can’t explain how proud I am of this New York Knicks team. Today we play another amazing team in the Philadelphia 76ers at 8pm, and if we can scratch a win in this back to back, the league won’t be able to stop talking about it. Good luck to my Knicks tonight let’s go beat the 76ers!