New York Knicks at Orlando Magic
March 6, 2017
Knicks 115, Magic 105
by Eric Weinstein
Yo, didn’t they just play the Magic?
After another home loss on Sunday, the Knicks immediately hit the road and went back down to Central Florida to take on the Orlando Magic once again. On March 1st, the Knicks defeated the Magic 101-90, and this game had the same end result, a Knicks victory. This game went a little differently, as New York had to play the catch up game for the first three quarters, without Carmelo Anthony, only to pull away in the fourth. Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, and Lance Thomas, all stepped up in Carmelo’s absence to get the Knicks a win, 112-105. Lee led the Knicks with 20 points, and Porzingis and Thomas combined for 31 points. Maybe the biggest story of this game was undrafted rookie Chasson Randle, who was playing his first extended minutes as a New York Knick. Randle filled the stat sheet with 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, and was an astonishing +27. To compare, Derrick Rose was a -23, for all those who think the Knicks should resign Rose in the off-season. Evan Fournier led the Magic with 25 points, and Elfrid Payton ended his night with a triple double. 16 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 1 awful haircut for the Magic point guard.
The Knicks were struggling for most of the game, as they looked like a team who had gone toe-to-toe with the Warriors the day before. The offense looked stagnant, the couldn’t stay in front of anyone defensively, and were just plain sluggish. The solid minutes Chasson Randle was giving to the Knicks didn’t seem like it was going to be enough of an energizer for the Knicks to come back and win this game, until Coach Hornacek made a surprise move after three quarters.
What turned the game around in the fourth quarter was the insertion of Kyle O’Quinn, a former member of the Orlando Magic. O’Quinn was on his way to a DNP Coaches Decision, but then Hornacek decided to put him into the game with Willy Hernangomez sporting a new, shiny black eye. What a fourth quarter it was , as KO came into the game and absolutely dominated. KO, in 12 minutes, scored 11 points and 7 rebounds. Another excellent performance by KO, and his hustle saved the Knicks.
For those who are hoping for the tank, which should be all of you, I’m sorry this game was such a disappointment. I’m saying a Knicks win is a disappointment, what a season. Since the Magic have a worse record than the Knicks, this would have been the perfect game to lose for all of the tank enthusiasts out there. A saving grace is that without a doubt, New York will have at worst, a top 10 pick in this stacked NBA draft, so not to worry.
Knicks and Bucks Wednesday night in Milwaukee, with Carmelo Anthony back in the lineup. Let’s all kick back and enjoy the brilliance of Giannis Antetokounmpo. 26-38.