The New York Knicks are rolling into Friday on a three-game winning streak after handling Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
The New York Knicks are good? The New York Knicks are good. That feels weird to write, but, at the moment, it’s true. The Knicks took the Golden State Warriors to school on Thursday night, drilling the home team 119-104.
The defense looks fantastic, RJ Barrett is emerging as a bonafide star, and the rookies are starting to find their groove. All is well for Knicks fans right now. Here is Thursday night’s win as explained by five gifs.
RJ Barrett Dominance
RJ Barrett scored a career-high 28 points in the win and he only needed 17 shots to get there. He set the tone in the first quarter with 14 points on 4-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from deep.
Reggie Bullock’s hot shooting helped the Knicks surge out in front of the Warriors early, but it was clear that Barrett was the alpha dog on Thursday. The second-year wing also chipped in with five assists. Even when he’s scoring at a high clip, Barrett rarely gets tunnel vision.
Stephen Curry Scorching Hot
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry started off the game as a facilitator. It wasn’t until late in the first quarter that he notched his first bucket. But from there, he was off to the races.
Curry scored 11 points in the last few minutes of the first quarter to bring the Warriors back in it. Golden State is relying heavily on Curry to be at his best without Klay Thompson around. He finished with 30 points, but it wasn’t enough to top the Knicks.
So Long, Draymond Green
They say it’s better to be lucky than good and the Knicks caught a massive break towards the end of the second quarter. Draymond Green, playing with one technical foul, was ejected after he yelled at James Wiseman.
It’s an absolutely bizarre scenario to see a player ejected for yelling at his teammate, but that’s the way it goes. The Knicks took advantage of his absence.
The Tom Thibodeau Effect
Tom Thibodeau‘s fingerprints are all over this team. Hard-nosed defense, resiliency, no-nonsense approach — the list goes on.
The Knicks were on a five-game losing streak entering last Sunday and they appeared to be coming back down to earth after their 5-3 start. Less than a week later, the Knicks have won three in a row and they are back to .500.
Don’t look now, but the Knicks are actually the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Yes, it’s way too early to speculate about a playoff spot, but something feels different about this team.
Another Late Night
Knicks fans should get used to these late starts. The Knicks are at it again on Friday with a 10 p.m. ET start against the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have the worst defense in the NBA by a wide margin.
They have an opportunity to pounce on Sacramento and start off this four-game west coast road trip with two key wins. Just make sure you aren’t falling asleep or you will miss the action.