From Zach Braziller:
This felt like the college powerhouse handpicking its first opponent to impress the home fans. A carefully selected team intended to create a sense of optimism.
Though the Knicks had no say in who they opened up with at the Garden on Friday night, the Pistons would have been at the top of their list if they had that option: A young team feeling good coming off its first season-opening victory in three years.
Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Co. were perfect foils, easy marks for the far hungrier, ball-moving Knicks. Tom Thibodeau’s team didn’t mess around after the disappointing overtime loss to the Grizzlies two nights ago, leading by 10 after one quarter and cruising to its first win, a 130-106 whipping of Detroit at a joyous and sold-out Garden.
“We knew the energy we had to come out with, and we just had a lot of fun and shared the ball,” said Obi Toppin, a force off the bench with 16 points in 21 minutes.
Pick a player, basically any player who touched the court, and he was productive for the Knicks. The starters continued to thrive. The second unit excelled. Players who weren’t at their best in the opener — RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Toppin, Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley — were terrific, and the ball bounced the Knicks’ way. Even when a Rose feed for a cutting Isaiah Hartenstein went through his hands, it caromed to Toppin for an uncontested 3-pointer.
Great win. I want them to play the Pistons every game. Can that be arranged?