Discreet but very nice schedule poster to end the week, with this Knicks – Thunder at Madison Square Garden, at noon New York time, and 6 p.m. in France. A match between two inconsistent teams since the start of the season, who had won their last match and are therefore looking to continue. And if Sunday night games are very rarely very good, this one was an exception, at least for Thunder fans, since the show was there.
Indeed, at the end of a very big attacking match (280 points scored), the Thunder easily won (145-135), under the impetus of a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who still has not removed his foot from the accelerator since the start of the season (37 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks), and Josh Giddey’s triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists).
Despite a huge start, with this first quarter at 48 points scored at 65% on shots, the Knicks violently collapsed afterwards, because of a very frankly pathetic defense. Like the next two quarters, the second and the third, during which they conceded 43 points, respectively at 70% and 71% on shots, for the Thunder…
In summary, a very embarrassing defeat for the Knicks, who are going back to negative on the balance sheet, before embarking on a particularly perilous “road-trip” on the West Coast in the coming days (Jazz, Nuggets, Warriors, Suns then to new Thunder).
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– A historic first quarter for the Knicks. With 48 points scored at 20/31 on shots (65%), and 9 of the 10 players who entered the game who scored, the Knicks actually signed a literally historic quarter, since it is a record of franchise. Never in its history the Manhattan club had scored so many points in 12 minutes (previous record at 45 points), but the defeat unfortunately spoils everything. It is indeed difficult to see anything other than a simple ultimately anecdotal record in this context, since the Knicks, trampled after the first quarter, caught fire at the start for nothing…
TOPS & FLOPS
✅ Shai Gilgeous-Alexander & Josh Giddey. At the wand of a very fluid attack, which scored 145 points on 62.5% on shots (17/31 from 3-pointers), the two leaders tortured the Knicks’ defense. The Canadian compiled 37 points on 22 shots, when the Australian, more “playmaker”, offered a triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists) and the best +/- of the match (+15). The pair are the present and the future of the OKC club, and are increasingly establishing themselves as one of the best back duos in the entire league, more broadly.
✅ Cam Reddish. Even if Jalen Brunson or Immanuel Quickley also did well in this collective slump, it is the former Duke winger who deserves the most spotlight. Having become a starter for four games after gaining the confidence of Tom Thibodeau in a defensive role, Cam Reddish continues to show his best face. Tonight, it was above all in attack that he shone, with 26 points at 10/17, but also 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.
⛔️ RJ Barrett. Sad game for the Canadian player, invisible in attack with 4 points on 10 shots. To make matters worse, he lost 2 balls and committed 4 faults. Same poor record for Evan Fournier (0 point in 20 minutes).
⛔️ The Knicks Defense. The evils are very deep, in the defense of the Knicks. The residents of Madison Square Garden allowed their opponents to shoot at 62.5% success on 88 shots, including 55% from behind the arc (17/31). Persistently behind on outside shots, naïve in the paint with a haphazard drop defense as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sliced the racquet from all sides, the Knicks were simply horrible on defense. In this, the upcoming return of Mitchell Robinson is very good news…
– Knicks (6v-7d) : trip to Utah, overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday (03:00)
– Thunder (6v-7d) : « back-to-back » à Boston (01h30)