Not-So-Warm Welcome for Wemby
The Knicks take care of business against the phenom and his young team.
Good morning! How nice it was to give last night’s national television audience, surely tuning in to watch Wemby dominate at the World’s Most Famous Arena, a big old shit-burger to munch on.
They got an impressive performance, all right. Just not from the place they might have been expecting.
Game 8: Knicks 126, Spurs 105
So much for a memorable debut at the Garden…
In a New York minute…
The Knicks wasted no time establishing themselves as the dominant party in this one, getting off to a 13-0 lead that swelled to 21 points in the second quarter and 30 in the third. To the Spurs credit, they never gave up. After closing the advantage to 14 points at halftime, they opened the fourth quarter hitting 8-of-8 from the field and eventually cutting the lead to 14 points. But New York stepped on the gas whenever they needed to, which eventually gave way to garbage time.
As for Wemanyama, he finished with 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting with a lone blocked shot on his ledger.
1. Live by the Three... The Knicks seem wholly incapable of being mediocre from deep.
For the eighth time in eight game, the Knicks either hit at least 38 percent of their threes or less than a quarter of them. Thankfully last night, it was the former, as New York nailed 19-of-42 from downtown and shot the Spurs out of the gym before they realized what hit them.
Every non-center rotation player got in on the action, but two stood above the rest: Jalen Brunson, who went 5-of-8, and RJ Barrett, who went 5-of-9, including the one that got the scoring started:
With the Spurs slotting Wemby onto RJ so he could roam on defense - essentially daring Barrett to shoot - you could argue that getting this first one to go was the most important play of the game. He’s now hitting over 47 percent from long range, one of the league leaders among high volume shooters.
Brunson’s threes came with a bit more flair. First, he pulled himself out of dreadful shooting night by sinking three triples in an 81-second span late in the second quarter. Then in the fourth, Jalen sank a dagger with Wembanyama coming out to contest, putting New York up 17 with under four minutes left and finally closing the door on the frisky Spurs.
Perhaps the Jekyll and Hyde routine will give way to more consistency at some point, but for right now, the Knicks run as hot and cold as any team in the league.