NY Post: Knicks nip Pacers to reach .500, pull into fourth place in Eastern Conference

From Peter Botte:

Twice in the previous 10 days, the Knicks had wasted opportunities to push their record to the .500 mark in unsightly losses to the Magic and the Warriors.

They appeared headed for another blown chance to even their record and move up in the murky Eastern Conference on Saturday night. Coach Tom Thibodeau’s surging squad stormed back from a 16-point deficit in the first half, however, and moved into a tie for fourth place in the playoff standings with a gritty 110-107 win over the Pacers at the Garden.

The Knicks improved to 17-17 and are deadlocked with the Raptors entering Sunday’s visit to conference-worst Detroit (9-24).

Imagine if the Knicks had an actual winning record after 35 games!

Very nice win, with RJ playing some phenomenal basketball during a stretch where he brought the Knicks back into the lead. Yes, he bricked two free throws that could have been brutal, but, whatever, the other stuff was more important than two missed free throws.

The Eastern Conference, man, it is high-larious that the Knicks would technically have home court in the first round at this point, with a .500 record! This Conference is such a mess. However, it is a mess that everyone else is involved with, as well, so it is not like the Knicks aren’t playing the same teams as everyone else. Best of a mess is still something to be proud of for this franchise.

Having a winning record after 35 games would be even sweeter!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Pacers

The Knicks host the Pacers tonight with a real chance to get to .500 on the season, which would be the latest the Knicks have been at .500 in a season since the 2016-17 season, so that would be cool!

Not only that, but it would put the Knicks up on the Pacers in the season series and since every team from 4-10 is separated by, like, a half game, being up 2-1 on the Pacers would be huge.

The Pacers played last night and lost to the Celtics, which is helpful, as is the fact that the Pacers’ star guard, Malcolm Brogdon, might not be able to play tonight after injuring his knee last night.

Time to get even, Knicks! Literally!

Let’s go be at .500, Knicks!

NY Post: Immanuel Quickley puts on show for Knicks fans in win

From Marc Berman:

The “We Want Quickley’’ chant began late in the first quarter when Sacramento was putting together a rare run.

With 2:44 left in the quarter, Immanuel Quickley was inserted into the game and he didn’t disappoint the second giddy Garden gathering of the season.

In sparking the Knicks with 18 first-half points, Quickley led the offensive explosion in a 140-121 triumph over sagging Sacramento as the popular rookie point guard emerged from his recent slump.

Quickley finished with 25 points, hitting all 12 of his free throws.

Along with Julius Randle, Quickley even heard “M-V-P’’ chants on another joyous evening before 2,000 fans who seemed to be chanting “De-fense” or something else all evening.

The Knicks’ 140 points were a season high and only the second time they have mustered that number in a non-overtime game since 1988. Though it came against the NBA’s worst defensive team, it was a big boon for a club that has been the NBA’s least productive team offensively.

Boy, that was a whole lot of fun!

I loved seeing Frank play good minutes in Payton’s absence.

Burks really had a heck of a game!

Now the Knicks have a chance to beat the Pacers on Saturday and get to .500! They were also 17-17 during the Porzingis All Star season. The weird ass Aaron Afflalo Knicks were also 22-22 after 44 games, so that’s the mark the Knicks need to beat to have their best season since their last actual, you know, good season (the one where they actually won a playoff series!!!).

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks and Their Starting Point Guard, Derrick Rose vs. Kings

If only Nerlens Noel could also miss this game and then Thibs could start Taj Gibson, as well.

I’m kidding, really, as obviously with Payton out, Rose was clearly going to be the starter and honestly, if it’s just a temporary situation, you probably don’t even want Quickley moving to the starting lineup for just a game.

Is it a big frustrating that Rose is ahead of Quickley on the depth chart? Sure, but whatever, I get it. Rose is definitely more of a real point guard than Quickley.

This game, of course, will be all about seeing Hali in person and hoping that he has a bad game and that Obi has a good one.

The Kings are sort of a testament to the strength of the Western Conference, as they are 12-19 and I find it hard to believe they wouldn’t be more like 14-17 (or better) if they were in the Eastern Conference. They’re far from a good team, just better than 12-19 if they were in the East, where literally THREE teams are over .500 and only one more is even at .500. This is a strange, strange season.

The Knicks are currently in a three-way tie for the #8 seed, but they’re just a half game back of a three-way tie for the fifth seed, so a win tonight would move the Knicks into that tie for fifth (since none of the other teams in the #5-10 spot are playing tonight).

So, well, let’s plead the fifth tonight!

Let’s go get back within a game of .500, Knicks!

NY Post: Knicks clipped by Warriors in first game with fans back at MSG

From Marc Berman:

It was as if 11 months of enthusiastic fervor had been unleashed in one night at the Garden.

A lively, loud crowd of 2,000 cheered the Knicks, heckled the Warriors and booed the referees Tuesday night. But in the end, the season’s first Garden crowd — which a team spokesman called a sellout — only could do so much and the Warriors’ talent won out.

Golden State pounded the Knicks in the second half to post a 114-106 victory. Stephen Curry rained in 37 points and Draymond Green was all over the court in a defensive gem.

Green made newly minted All-Star Julius Randle struggle from the field while piling up 11 assists, two steals and one block. Randle finished with 25 points on 8 of 21 shooting and got ejected with 17.5 seconds remaining after picking up his second technical.

Indeed, the Knicks were frustrated afterward, with coach Tom Thibodeau and Derrick Rose each taking issue with the lack of calls going the Knicks’ way — perhaps causing them to shoot just 39 percent.

“Sometimes you get calls, sometimes you don’t,’’ Thibodeau said. “It just seemed like there was a lot of contact on our drives and we didn’t get the calls. We have to deal with that, yeah.’’

Look at Berman throwing the Knicks a bone! “Maybe the officiating led to them shooting poorly.” You go, Berman! Secure that access!

Anyhow, shitty loss against a pretty good Warriors team. Still, Julius Randle made the All-Star team, so that’s cool, at least!

NBA Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves Predictions

We’re only a couple of hours away from learning whether Randle makes the All-Star Team. I think his chances are good, but let’s do some predictions for the rather difficult Eastern reserves (lots of good options out there).

And, of course, it is all polls!

Will Julius Randle be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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Will Domantas Sabonis be chosen as an All Star reserve?

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Will Zach LaVine be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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Will James Harden be chosen as an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve?

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Will Jayson Tatum be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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Will Ben Simmons be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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Will Jaylen Brown be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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Will Trae Young be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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Will Tobias Harris be chosen as an All-Star reserve?

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