Preseason Wrap-up: What did we learn?
Good Morning Knicks Fans,
No, last night was not a dream. Yes the Knicks beat the Cavs by 36 points and Immanuel Quickley looked every part of a starting point guard that we have been praying for since.... Charlie Ward, Mark Jackson..... Clyde Frazier.
The fact of the matter is that we are learning that IQ has the knowledge and poise to run the point. He made Kevin Knox look like Klay Thompson last night (going 6/7 from 3). The sad truth is that he needs to consistently do that and surpass DSJ for more minutes or wait out a trade that ships DSJ out once his trade value goes up due to an early season showcase, which I fully expect to be the case. So don't get frustrated and wonder why Quickley isn't seeing the minutes we all know he deserves.
Speaking of looking like an all star, Mitchell Robinson did something that we have never seen: He played an entire game (27 minutes) with 0 fouls! I know, usually picks up 2 quick ones as soon as he ties his shoes, but playing the final quarter of game 3's comeback with 5 fouls remaining in the game and playing all day with no issue shows that he is maturing, learning how to affect the game more than just his stat sheet which will prove beneficial for everyone (especially when his contract comes up).
RJ Barrett has looked like he was the most consistent player through those four games, being able to get into the paint and create a shot, being able to hit a timely 3 and playing good defense. I know these were not all star packed teams but getting into good habits and building confidence is exactly what this team needs, especially the second and third year players like Frank, Knox, RJ and Mitch who have seen hard losses and minimal payoff.
Obi came out of the gate swinging! He has quieted down a bit but I do not expect him to stay silent for long. I'd rather him work through some of those rookie issues early and finish the season strong rather than hit that rookie wall and taper off down the stretch. Besides, if we want a viable ROY candidate he needs to be as consistent as possible, that includes defense.
We know they can play defense now and there is no excuse not to keep up the intensity and Coach Thibs will not let any defensive lapses happen. I think we expect to see very quick hooks on guys not playing defense when the regular season starts. That WILL be how guys like Quickley and Mitch get extended minutes and crack the starting line up.
It has been a Christmas miracle so far with how the Knicks have been playing but we know there is a long way to go and the 72 games that are in front of us will be an emotional rollercoaster, I'm sure but, I trust what Thibs has put together and his experience not only on the court but within the front office, he will be providing a ton of guidance to our players and Leon and Worldwide Wes.
Check back in early in the week for the remaining schedule projections and any breaking news