The New York Knicks have finally snatched their first victory against the Philadelphia 76ers since 2017 (112-99). Indeed, the men of Big Apple have lost their last fifteen games against Philly. The absence of Ben Simmons benefited New Yorkers led by a good Kemba Walker.
The 31-year-old leader remained on the bench during the end of the game against Orlando on Sunday, seeing his teammates lose on the wire (110-104). Determined to raise the level of his team, Walker ended last night’s meeting with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. It was during the second quarter that the man gained confidence by making 4 consecutive shots.
The Knicks had yet started slowly before taking a comfortable lead at the start of the second period (62-42). Enough to set Madison Square Garden on fire.
“I was waiting for this moment,” said Walker, “I was waiting for this moment. It’s the kind of moment I dreamed of when I was a kid who wanted to be in the NBA, when I watched the Knicks play, came to the game and saw how the crowd went up in flames. It was a great moment for me. »Kemba Walker
New York audiences are renowned for their fervor and outspokenness. He did not miss the opportunity to chamber Ben Simmons by chanting “Where is Ben Simmons?” »During the match. An audience that can rejoice in a victorious scenario after the bitter loss against the Orlando Magic. Julius Randle had a hard time getting over it, feeling bad and staying up until four in the morning. Kemba Walker even speaks of redemption.
“We redeemed ourselves,” Walker said.
The Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau wanted to get his group together and was convinced that his troop would win this new match against the Magic.
“Long before the game started tonight, I could tell we would have a good game,” said coach Tom Thibodeau. “We knew we hadn’t played well (against Orlando). We have a real bunch of serious guys. I could tell that that night, the next day and last night, the gymnasium was filled with working people. I knew it would be a good test for us. »Tom Thibodeau
It is above all a collective victory, because the mark was well distributed: in addition to the 19 points of Walker, Evan Fournier added 18 points, Julius Randle had 16 (while gobbling up 11 rebounds and distributing seven assists) and seven other New Yorkers scored at least nine points. This collective approach to the game is perfectly suited to leader Julius Randle who appreciates being spared in attack.
“Anyone can score and have a good streak and that’s what this team can do,” said Randle. “It’s great that I don’t have to score 30 points to give us a chance to win. As long as we defend, we will have a chance. »Julius Randle
Kemba Walker was formidable behind the three-point line last night with 5 of 9 successful shots. His first three failed attempts early in the game did not deter him as he then scored seven of his next nine shots. Three-way shooting isn’t Tom Thibodeau’s favorite offensive weapon, but the Knicks still managed 15 of their 23 shots from behind the arc last night. Better, New York is the team that scores the most points shots on average per game (17.5) at the start of the season.
For the opposing coach Doc Rivers it’s all a question of the number and players available to the Knicks’ staff.
“That’s it when you have Kemba Walker and (Evan) Fournier on the team,” Rivers said. “They needed to score more. I think Thibs knew that. »Doc Rivers
Ben Simmons’ strike is favorable to the success of New York which hopes to overtake Philadelphia in the standings of the Eastern Conference. Recall that the latter had finished last season in third place. The Knicks’ next stop is in Chicago to face the Bulls, a team Thibodeau knows well having coached there for years. The coach announces a meeting raised against the Bulls who post a record of 4 wins and no defeat.
“It doesn’t stop,” Thibodeau said. “We cannot get excited after this victory. We’re going to Chicago to play against an unbeaten team that has depth and is playing really well. We will have to play our best. »Tom Thibodeau