Knicks Wemby

The New York Knicks Find Rythym in Victor Wembanyama’s MSG Debut

The New York Knicks gave a stunning performance on Wednesday night, outshining Victor Wembanyama’s Madison Square Garden debut and claiming a 126-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. This impressive win has brought the Knicks’ record to a balanced 4-4, marking their first winning streak of the season.

Knicks’ Stellar Performance

Finally, I didn’t have to watch a horrific shooting game once again. The team’s collaborative effort was instrumental in securing not only a win, but dominating with significant contributions from every player who touched the floor.

Knicks’ Key Contributors

Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett emerged as the high scorers of the game, each hitting five triples and dishing out six assists. They respectively scored 25 and 24 points, while Julius Randle followed closely with an impressive 23-16-5. Immanuel Quickly also performed exceptionally, scoring 19 points and assisting five times.

First Quarter Domination

The Knicks started the game on a high note, leading 8-0, courtesy of Barrett and Quentin Grimes’ threes and a layup from Grimes. Randle then extended the opening run to 13-0 before the Spurs could score. We finally saw this team have some confidence on the offensive side of the ball and establish pace and rhythm early in the game. 

Wembanyama started off aggressively but his attempts at jumpers were unsuccessful. Obviously our beloved MSG Faithful let him know it. Mitchell Robinson and the Knicks’ defense continued to shine, forcing the Spurs into 7-of-18 shooting and four turnovers. The first quarter ended with the Knicks leading 33-16. I must say, I really love what I am seeing from Mitchell Robinson. Guy is an absolute workhorse on the offensive glass. 

Wembanyama’s Struggles at MSG Debut

Victor Wembanyama had a rough start at Madison Square Garden. Although he entered the game with high expectations, his performance fell short. It was the only reason this game was nationally televised. They wanted the Frenchman to shine in his first time at MSG. The only thing I wish happened last night was the Spurs took the Knicks Frenchman Evan Fournier with them after to free up some cap space. 

A Tough Start

Wembanyama missed his first seven shots and ended up with more airballs (2) than field goals through three quarters. He was unable to score double figures until the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 14 points on 4-for-14 shooting. Mostly garbage time points.

Learning Experience

In the words of Gregg Popovich, “You have a 19-year-old rookie who is just learning about the NBA. Of course it’s a learning experience.” This experience was a stark reality check for Wembanyama, who leads NBA rookies with an average of 19.4 points per game. It also didn’t help that the Spurs defensive effort was pretty poor across the board.

Defensive Dominance

The pairing of Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein has been such a joy to watch this season. They play to their strengths and allow flexibly when it comes to match ups. Some games the Knicks tend to perform better when one of them is on the floor. 

They managed to contain Wembanyama effectively throughout the game. Robinson added five more offensive rebounds to his streak, bolstering his argument for the best offensive rebounder in the NBA. 

Knicks’ Offensive Strategy

The Knicks’ offensive strategy was a key factor in their victory. They employed a motion offense, and picked up their ball movement, resulting in a brilliant performance compared to their usual iso-level style. The team had 28 assists with only three turnovers, tying the franchise record for the least turnovers in a game.

Game Highlights

The third quarter saw the Knicks maintain their lead, going on a 17-2 run led by Randle. Their defense tightened up, allowing them to widen the gap. By the midway point of the third quarter, the Knicks had built a staggering 93-63 lead.

Even though the Spurs fought back in the final quarter, their efforts were not enough to close the gap. Despite a commendable 7-2 run led by Wembanyama, the Knicks held on to their lead, sealing their victory.

Looking Forward

The Knicks now have a long break before their next game, where they are set to host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday at 12 p.m. This game will provide them with another opportunity to showcase that their tough start to the season was poor shooting against really good teams. With their losses coming to the Celtics, Bucks, Pelicans and Timberwolves, I refused to hit the panic button at this time in the season. All 4 teams have superstars or future superstars who are competent enough to win games.

The San Antonio Spurs, on the other hand, will be looking to bounce back from this defeat when they host Minnesota on Friday. If they play defense as bad as they did Wednesday night we might see something special from Anthony Edwards. 

This game was a clear demonstration of the Knicks’ talent and teamwork. Despite the high expectations surrounding Wembanyama’s debut, the New York Knicks rose to the occasion and proved their mettle. 

The team’s ability to perform under pressure, coupled with their exceptional defensive and offensive strategies, led them to a well-deserved victory. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks continue to find their rhythm and establish their place within the Eastern Conference standings. 


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