The Knicks faced off against a similarly bad Detroit Pistons team last night and picked up their 20th win of the season.
On paper this match-up should have been a disaster of epic proportions. The 20-44 Pistons vs the 19-44 Knicks should have been a clown car of follies, one right after another (and there were some notable mishaps) but the Knicks had a pretty solid game all the way around. The defense was a particular high point suffocating Detroit into only 84 points (13 points in the 4th Quarter).
Seemed as though the Knicks wanted to come out with something to prove to another bottom rung team. Perhaps that mindset was "we're not like you" and the Knicks wanted to show some toughness, intensity and physicality, which they did.
With the Knicks beating the Pistons, the lottery odds are the only thing that these teams have to look forward to but a generous flat line in the 4th quarter could potentially help Detroit rather than hurt them.
The Bad Boy Pistons!
These guys are not that.. but we did get some chippy play, which I for one always appreciate!
Christian Wood and Julius Randle were pretty physical with each other all night culminating with being separated by the referees and a Mitchell Robinson technical foul as the two were jawing at each other as the young 7 footer came to stir the pot a little more.
I appreciated all of this very much for a few reasons. The Knicks have some pride, which, for a team with 19 wins heading into the night (now 20) is hard to come by without it being accompanied by frustration. It seemed like they wanted this game and wanted to show the league that despite all the poor PR the players are here to win. Secondly, I appreciate that this team, very much likes one another. For Mitch to come in and protect his teammate instead of trying to play peacemaker is huge. I love a good dust up in the NBA and I love it even more when people escalate instead of trying to break it up.
All in all the Knicks are still an enigma and as Derrick Rose said after the game, to accompany some hope for Knicks fans "Nobody can be bad forever." which is as nice a statement anyone has made about the Knicks organization in a long time!
The Knicks are playing out the season for pride, taking every victory they can get. And for those on 1 year deals, padding every statistical category they can before heading back into free agency. No tank talk, No nights off, just a bunch of dudes who want to hoop and finish out the season on a high note.
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