Eight thoughts on the Knicks shellacking the Pistons – The Denver Post


The Knicks put a beating on the Pistons in preseason Tuesday night, 117-96, which gives us plenty to discuss in the positive column. Here are eight thoughts on the Knicks’ first game since May:


Jalen Brunson was the headline in his debut but all five starters, most notably Julius Randle, were positive parts of their domination. We’ve contemplated Randle’s role in this offense now that Brunson will command the ball and RJ Barrett takes his next step. We saw the ideal scenario against the Pistons, with Randle waiting for his opportunities in the third quarter, getting open looks and dunking in transition. Sure, there were a couple times Randle isolated too far from the basket and stopped the ball movement. But his final stat line was indicative of his efficiency — 18 minutes, 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, zero turnovers. The starters accumulated 13 assists with just four turnovers. That type of ratio didn’t happen much last season.


It just feels like Reddish’s tenure here is snake-bit. He got a greater opportunity Tuesday with the reserves because of Quentin Grimes’ foot injury, but Reddish lasted only 11 minutes before spraining his ankle on a fluke play near the sideline. It appeared Reddish tripped over the referee.

“It looked like something happened down there, it was like a transition play,” Thibodeau said. “So I don’t know exactly what transpired.”

Reddish was probably due for more minutes toward the end of last season when the Knicks lost their motivation for a playoff push, but the former lottery pick broke his shoulder. A sprained ankle obviously isn’t debilitating but there’s no spot in the rotation for Reddish if the other wings are healthy.


Perhaps the Knicks’ greatest strength is their depth, which is giving the reserves confidence they can represent something special this season. We saw flashes of the potential Wednesday with their speed and playmaking, as newcomer Isaiah Hartenstein brought a different element as a stretch-5.

The German, who nailed two 3-pointers, compared New York’s bench favorably to his Clippers’ of last season, which finished in the top-5 in points, rebounds and assists.

“I think it could be one of the best benches in the league, to be honest,” Hartenstein said.

“I think last year I was on a really good bench, too. And I think it’s probably on the same level as that — probably even more playmaking in this unit than even with the Clippers. So, I’m excited.”


Derrick Rose’s first game in over nine months lasted just six minutes. Holding back the oldest player on the roster made sense — especially coming off that ankle surgery last season — and Thibodeau said he wanted an extended look at point guard Deuce McBride.

“I know where (Rose) is,” Thibodeau said. “(His minutes) will get increased as we go forward.”

McBride capitalized with six steals in 26 minutes. Assuming the Knicks want to limit Rose’s load by sitting him in back-to-backs, the second-year defensive specialist should get important opportunities.


Essentially unprompted in the postgame presser, Thibodeau called center Mitchell Robinson “the best offensive rebounder in the league.” The coach doesn’t assign these labels lightly, and perhaps that gives us a better understanding of why the Knicks committed $60 million to Robinson.

“He’s incredibly strong. And he has great anticipation. He’s a freak athlete, the things he can do are special,” Thibodeau said.

The numbers largely confirm Thibodeau’s claim. Robinson was second in the NBA last season in offensive rebounds behind only Memphis’ Steven Adams. He was also among the leaders in offensive rebound percentage. Of course, it helps that Robinson operates almost exclusively around the rim.


A summer away did not diminish Obi Toppin’s popularity at MSG. He received the biggest cheers and Toppin rewarded the crowd with a windmill dunk. But he also missed four wide-open 3-pointers, including an airball from the corner. The ability to spread the floor will get Toppin on the court more often, but defenses won’t respect the type of shooting from Tuesday.


Immanuel Quickley has a stated goal to raise his field-goal percentage, which is definitely attainable after he shot under 40% the last two seasons. To that end, Quickley added weight — crossing the 190-pound threshold for the first time in his life — and worked on his finishing around the rim. Aside from his elite floater, Quickley struggled to convert inside the paint during his first two seasons. We saw a result of his offseason in the second quarter Tuesday, when he took off with his left foot, absorbed contact at the rim and finished an and-one with his left hand.

“We call that goofy-foot finish — me and (assistant coach) Johnnie Bryant,” Quickley said. “We work on that every day.”


Tuesday marked the first game since the pandemic started that reporters were allowed in the MSG locker room. I was happy to see Mitchell Robinson remains as hysterical as ever. But the presence of Marc Berman, the longtime NY Post beat reporter who retired before the season, is already missed.



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