The New York Knicks may have lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 127-106, but they have gained confidence in Elfrid Payton as their point guard for the rest of the season after a feisty performance.
Throughout his career Elfrid Payton has been able stuff the stat sheet. Payton joined Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook last season as the only players in the last 35 years to have 5 straight triple doubles. That’s exactly what the Payton did tonight against the Grizzlies.
In 35 minutes Elfrid Payton would score 15 points and dish out 11 assists while grabbing 6 rebounds. The Knick’s ball movements took a major jump with Payton on the floor as the point guard looked to create opportunities for his teammates.
Dennis Smith Jr was the only other point guard to receive playing time and his performance receives mixed reviews. The former Wolfpack scored 8 points and dished out 4 assists in 13 minutes as he continues to work his way back from injury. It wasn’t all roses for Smith Jr. as he would end the game with 4 ugly turnovers and held onto the ball for far to long causing the offense to become stagnant.
Frank Ntilikina didn’t touch the floor once for New York in DNP coach’s decision.
Elfird Payton’s best moment would come in the final minute of the game. With an 18 point lead and 48 seconds left in the game, Jae Crowder would steal the Knicks in-bound pass and immediately take a three from the corner. It’s against the unwritten rules of basketball and it’s just plan disrespectful. Elfrid Payton wasn’t taking any of it.
Payton would close out on Crowder’s shot and then push the forward to the ground in the start of a physical alteration which would end with 1 flagrant two, 2 ejections and 4 technicals. When faced with someone trying to disrespect the Knicks home court, Elfrid Payton defended. Payton sent a message that the New York Knicks aren’t a team that is just going to roll over and let you beat them.
The Knicks will play hard and won’t take any disrespect this season. It’s a nice change of pace from what we’ve seen out of the Big Apple in the past.