The Knicks were able to pull off a big win against a contender. Can this shift the momentum for this season?
After a 5 game home losing streak the Knicks came away with a 92-81 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. This was by far the best defensive performance by the Knicks this season. They forced the Cavs to shoot 29/83 (34.9%) from the field and 8/35 (22.9%) from 3 point range. Also, the 81 points scored by the Cavs is the fewest the Knicks have allowed all season. This team showed unity on the defensive end. And even though New York had a bad shooting night from the perimeter as well (5/29 from three), they were still able to find some rhythm scoring in the interior which made the difference.
The Knicks led as much as 18 points and maintained a lead the majority of the game.
G Jalen Brunson led all of the Knicks scorers with 23 points while shooting 7-16 from the field. F Julius Randle had a near double -double performance by scoring 18 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. Also, C Isaiah Hartenstein almost recorded a double- double by scoring 10 points and tallying 9 rebounds in just 14 minutes off the bench. It was just one of those nights where everyone made a contribution on both ends of the floor and most importantly down the stretch. Which is something that the Knicks have struggled with this season.
Wins like this against a quality team can do wonders for a team like the Knicks who are trying to find consistency and prove themselves against the Eastern Conference’s elite. They will host another home game against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. Then they go on a quick 1 game road trip to play the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. Did the Knicks find something in this win that can propel them to success in the near future?
Only time will tell.