Knicks Dominate the Hornets – Face Early Test in Boston

Just what I had hoped for after beating down the Spurs on Wednesday. The Knicks came out of the gate Sunday with the mindset of overpowering the Charlotte Hornets in a 129-107 triumph at the Madison Square Garden. This win marked their third consecutive victory, showing a positive trend for the team, finally getting their record over .500 in the early season.

A Display of Offensive Excellence

Shooting 54% as a team, the Knicks put on quite a shooting performance, showcasing their offensive skills throughout the game. To add, they also shot an impressive 41.7% from the three-point line.

The key to their success was their coordinated ball movement, with 25 of their 47 successful field goals being assisted. A common theme of the teams wins this season. 

Notable contributors to the Knicks’ victory were Jalen Brunson, RJ Barrett, and Julius Randle, each of whom scored at least 20 points, contributing 20, 24, and 23 points, respectively. 

Their remarkable performances fueled the Knicks’ offense, leading the team to victory. Additionally, Mitchell Robinson and Immanuel Quickly also made their significant contributions, scoring in double figures and playing highly efficient basketball. Doing their jobs and doing them well. 

A Display of Offensive Excellence

As Julius Randle continues to recover from his ankle injury, the Knicks’ offense seems to be improving in tandem. Randle has found his shooting form in recent games, and this streak continued into this game. He scored the Knicks’ first 5 points, setting the stage for an impressive offensive performance by the team.

It is has never been more evident as it is right now, that the team goes, as he goes. In all 4 losses this season he has struggled with most of New York ready to ship him out by the final whistle. 

However, today, their offense was strong, their defense left room for improvement. The Knicks allowed the Hornets to maintain a shooting percentage of 55% from the field in the first quarter. It was the only reason the Hornets kept pace early on in the afternoon. 

Towards the end of the first quarter, Jalen Brunson found his rhythm and began to dominate the court. Scoring nine points in less than two minutes, his performance set the tone for the rest of the game. 

The Knicks managed to create a comfortable lead towards the end of the quarter, with RJ scoring an and-one off a right-handed layup and Immanuel Quickly knocking down a step-back three as time expired, giving the Knicks a 32-25 lead after the first 12 minutes of play.

Maintaining Momentum in the Second Quarter

In the second quarter, the Knicks built upon their late first-quarter success and continued to increase their lead over the Hornets. RJ took the lead initially, driving in for a strong layup followed by a three-pointer off the feed from IQ. 

Randle, while not contributing much to the scoring in this quarter, played a crucial role in getting others involved, finding Quickly for three and Robinson on the inside for a layup.

Mitchell Robinson was particularly active on the offensive glass, forcing Charlotte to foul him on several occasions due to his strength and leaping ability. With his contributions, the Knicks found themselves up 10 points against the Hornets at half-time, at 64-54.

Third-Quarter Dominance

The Knicks came out of the locker room with energy, going on an 18-7 run to give them a 22-point lead, their largest of the afternoon. The Knicks’ defense was the star of the third quarter, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on the Hornets’ offensive mistakes.

Julius Randle had an exceptional third quarter, effortlessly attacking the basket for 12 points. His performance, especially towards the end of the quarter, helped extend the Knicks’ lead after the Hornets went on an 8-0 run midway through the third. 

The Knicks’ pace throughout the game was unmatched, making it difficult for Charlotte to keep up, especially once the fresh legs from the bench were brought in. After 36 minutes of play, the Knicks were leading 99-79.

Sealing the Victory in the Fourth

The fourth quarter was relatively quiet as the Knicks continued to dominate, scoring 17 points in the first 6 minutes, led again by RJ Barrett. Barrett’s three-point shooting has continued to be remarkable, hitting two threes during this stretch, putting him at 3-of-5 from distance for the game. 

He was eventually subbed out, as the Knicks wanted to rest him given their large lead and the having the second of a back to back coming tomorrow against the Boston Celtics.

The Knicks continue to demonstrate what they are capable of but only against teams we expect them to beat. Their recent performance has shown marked improvements in both offense and defense. 

With that, it appears as if tomorrow sets the stage for the Knicks first major test since finding their rhythm. Boston has started their season 4-0 at home and will be ready to face the Knicks for the first time since opening night in late  October. Winning in Boston would set the tone that the Knicks are more than just a middle-tier Eastern Conference team. 


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