Knicks 100, Wizards 97: “Big Bounce”

Since the 1-12 stretch seemingly blew up any game-play hopes, the New York Knicks won five out of seven after last night’s 100-97 victory over the Washington Wizards. With her victory, New York overtook Washington for 11th in the East. Next week they play Charlotte and Atlanta, the two teams that advance to the final playing positions; They will play Charlotte again at the end of the month. In this season of extreme tweaks, it would be a fitting end for the Knicks to go from a blazing tire fire to having a chance to make the playoffs at the expense of Atlanta or even Brooklyn.

Play remains elusive with the Knicks returning five games with 12 games remaining. This does not mean that there is nothing to play for. The Knicks finished last season strong, winning 16 of the last 20. They asked him to build a culture. The climax at the end of the second season in a row indicates intelligent design within the organization. For Knicks, that might be a brighter sign of a culture change than winning the 10th seed.

Quoth Jaybugkit: “Big rebound…” New York won the match thanks to its rebound power. Six of the Knickerbockers had no fewer than five boards, led by 17 by Julius Rundle and a dozen by Mitchell Robinson. Randle has undergone two renovations this season alone: ​​Fall from Grace 2021 to Purgatory this year, and his Resurrection in the past six weeks. He shot poorly again last night, but Randle often contributes in other ways: In addition to leading the Knicks on rebounds, only Emmanuel Quikley has fired more than JR’s five passes. Randle leads the team with coins and is on the verge of being the first Nick to average 5+ assists in consecutive years since Raymond Felton.

Robinson has undergone a literal makeover right before our very eyes. Swole Mitch early in the season made way for Mitch to be closer to the person we’ve come to know and love over the years. Against a Wizards team that includes the newly acquired Christaps Porzies, Robinson was much faster and faster than KP, who definitely lost a step or two; He even thwarted a short shot (missing it) and quickly put an end to Washington’s Hack-A-Mitch strategy by making two free throws. It grew from a lube edge/threat guard to a real force on the glass, especially the offensive finish; Last night 10 of his 12 boards came off Nick’s notices, helping them lead 17-0 in second-chance points over three quarters.

They would need every inch of that advantage in fourth, because after a 96-81 lead, the hare took a nap and the turtle took off. Washington got excited from the depth, especially Kyle Kuzma, and then we got to the last minute of the game, and the Knicks were ahead. But The Wizards, a team that started the year 10-3 and have been 19-37 since then, didn’t fall behind the Knicks by chance. It’s a flawed franchise, and with Bradley Beal out I wasn’t concerned that I would usually watch an opponent turn a 15-point deficit into a one-point game.

Perhaps the concern wasn’t there because the risks weren’t. In theory, a 12th seed beating 11 to climb up a place before games against the 9th and 10th could be a big deal. Perhaps it was, if that win left the Knicks two games behind instead of five. I mentioned sanitizer earlier. It’s a place that has become familiar to Knicks fans over the years. The odds are high against the Knicks for a Charlotte or Atlanta pass and against them to climb into the top four in the draft. The outcome of every game, one way or another, is bad. Keep winning and go from shooting to sixth or seventh ping pong balls to twelfth. Keep losing and you’ll be back in the no-nonsense games in April, the NBA version of a half-ass hand job. There was a passion late last year. There was zest. shit is important.

shit still does. Again, the franchise still works to earn trust and respect has no business cutting corners or taking games. The Knicks have been so far from winning for far too long that they have never been able to beat that. They may have cost themselves some draft stand. They might miss playing anyway. But for now, as far as surviving this season, they should win. Beating Washington keeps them alive a little longer. Wins over Charlotte and Atlanta would make New York worth pursuing. In a season doomed to fail on this exhausted blue marble, that’s all one could ask for.