New York Knicks: Grades and reactions from blowout win over Cavaliers

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Recovering from a blowout loss to Cleveland, the New York Knicks struck back with their own big win, 123-105.

The New York Knicks avenged their blowout loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers by returning the favor with a blowout of their own, 123-105.

This was a wire to wire win for the Knicks and had everything a fan could ask for; there was perimeter defense, only seven turnovers, protection of the paint and Julius Randle‘s 30 points.

How did the players’ performances grade out along the way towards New York’s fourth victory? Let’s take a look:

B+. . SG. New York Knicks. RJ BARRETT

He started out slow but finished fast, ending the evening with a +12. In 24 minutes the rookie scored 15 points on five of 13 shooting including 1 of 1 from outside and four of five from the free-throw line. Also contributing to his game was two rebounds, two blocks, two steals, and one assist. This is the rookie’s best game in a while.

New York Knicks. JULIUS RANDLE. A. . PF

This is definitely the young leader’s best game and he played it from start to finish. In 38 minutes Randle got the Knicks’ first 30 point game on 12 of 17 shooting, three of five from outside and three of five from the free-throw line. He also contributed seven rebounds, one block, two steals, and one turnover. This was the change the team needed to see. This is the player who vowed to lead his young teammates. Let’s hope this is the beginning and not a flash in the pan.

B+. . SF. New York Knicks. MARCUS MORRIS, SR.

Marcus Morris had another good night, and there was no need for him to take the team on his back and just be the veteran leader they need. In 33 minutes, he had 23 points on five of 13 shooting, with six rebounds, two blocks and one steal. A complete all-around game. His veteran leadership is always evident on the court and readily received by the younger players.

B-. . PG. New York Knicks. FRANK NTILIKINA

He may not be big on offense, but Frank Ntilikina is immense on defense and it seems that it is rubbing off on his teammates, with the number of blocks everyone had Monday night. The Frenchman organized plays, went diving on the floor after loose balls and had the Cavaliers commit 19 turnovers. In addition, he had six points, six assists, and one steal. He was also a +22.

. SG. New York Knicks. DAMYEAN DOTSON. B-

Damyean Dotson is the only bench player being graded for a couple of reasons. Last season he was the resident sharpshooter for this team. Over the offseason, though, he had shoulder surgery, but only recently did he return to a full-time role, leading to 11 points and one rebound in fewer than 20 minutes against Cleveland.

It seems that Fizdale has begun to lock down his 10-man rotation. He’s using most the same guys as starters and the second unit for a few games. Hopefully, once these players have begun to gel everyone sees the Knicks team fans expected all along.

Other Takeaways

  • For the third consecutive game, Mitchell Robinson came off the bench to work with the second unit. Although he had five fouls, the second-year big man had seven points and four blocks in just 16 minutes.
  • Dennis Smith, Jr. came off the bench contributing eight points, six assists, and two rebounds.
  • Taj Gibson, who started the game at center, had seven points and eight rebounds; Bobby Portis contributed seven points and seven rebounds; and Wayne Ellington played for nine minutes and had three points and seven rebounds.
  • The Knicks had 54 points in the paint compared to the Cavs’ 34.
  • The Cavaliers had 19 turnovers and 26 personal fouls.

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The New York Knicks will travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Wednesday, Nov. 20.