So, 8 days ago the Cleveland Cavaliers came into The Garden and put a hurting on the Knicks, beating them by 20.
Nobody was as surprised as me that the game was so out of reach from basically the opening tip, except Steve Mills and Scott Perry judging by the press conference they held immediately following that game.
The Knicks came out for this game after blowing a 15 point lead (and the game) to the Charlotte Hornets this weekend like they had something to prove, which from now until the end of the season, they will.
Julius Randle looked like the #1 guy the Knicks were expecting when they offered the contract to him this offseason posting 30p/7r/4a with Marcus Morris Sr dropping 23 as a great second option in this game.
The Cavs are not a great NBA team this year. Lots of young pieces with a mix of some sub par veterans (sound like a team you know?) but the Knicks came out firing on all cylinders and I can't help but think it was due in large part to one reason, the Cavs lineup.
Kevin Love (back) and Larry Nance Jr (thumb) both stayed in their suits on the bench for this game and I wonder if the impact of having them in the game would have changed the result last night? More pressure on the young Knicks team, could they have persevered late in the game to pull out a squeaker? Who knows, but recent history says.... probably not.
Luckily that is not something that we need to dive into at the moment. The Knicks got EXACTLY what they needed at this point in the season, a BLOWOUT victory. This was an absolutely necessity given the fact that the Knicks play teams that were in the playoffs or will make the playoffs this year, basically until they play the Cavs again in February.
It is going to be a long stretch of a less than ideal schedule upcoming for the rest of the year but to quote the very confusing Michigan University Football Coach, Jim Harbaugh “You can’t plant potatoes one day and expect to eat potato salad the next day.” which I guess is true if you are using the same potatoes like the Knicks are. Basically saying it is still going to take time for this team. They've shown glimpses of how good they can be. Let's not blow up the staff or team just yet. They might surprise us as the season progresses. Weather the storm.
Maybe 20 wins.
One last thought. Frank was a +22. He might not be a PG that is going to throw up 20 points on a given night... but he impacts the game defensively and his basketball IQ is improving. He is a DAWG!!! OK OK OK he is at least a Puppy... but on his way, trending upward.