Knicks fall short to the Hawks: 3 major takeaways from Game 1

Alec Burks, Knicks. (Photo by Seth Wenig - Pool/Getty Images)
Alec Burks, Knicks. (Photo by Seth Wenig - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Alec Burks, NY Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Knicks bench showed up big time

The Knicks would not have been in a position to win this game if it wasn’t for the high amount of contributions they got from the bench. New York started off the game shooting the ball horribly and was down by as much as 11 in the first quarter. With guys like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle struggling, it was the Knicks’ second unit that brought them back in the game.

Alec Burks was easily the main catalyst, finishing the game with 27 points with 18 of his 27 points coming in the 4th quarter. He hit several big shots in the 4th quarter and made several plays for his teammates.

Outside of a missed free throw, and a missed baseline jumper in the clutch, his 4th quarter was immaculate. Derrick Rose was also a crucial part of New York’s second unit.

Tom Thibodeau didn’t waste any time benching the struggling Elfrid Payton and Rose was able to provide a spark once he entered the game. Finishing with 17 points and 5 assists, he was getting to the basket and making acrobatic finishes all game and he tied the game with 9 seconds left, which nearly sent the game into overtime.

Immanuel Quickley, despite being a rookie, showed no fear in his playoff debut. He finished the game with 10 points and 3 assists and helped to spark a run late in the second quarter. Even Obi Toppin contributed, hitting an open 3 pointer and finishing a monster jam in traffic which electrified the garden.

New York would not have been in position to win this game without the bench. The second unit will need to play well again in game 2 for the Knicks to tie the series.