The New York Knicks started the preseason with a bang on Tuesday night with a 117-96 win over the Detroit Pistons. After a grueling six months with little basketball (Summer League being the exception), fans couldn’t have asked for much more from the Knicks in their first contest of the 2022-23 season.
New York will hopefully carry that same energy over to tonight’s match-up against the Indiana Pacers. Dare we say… Friday Night Knicks?
Indiana finished below New York in 2021-22 with a 25-57 record and the Knicks should finish above the Pacers again this season. That doesn’t mean that Indiana should be overlooked, though, with the Pacers having players such as Tyrese Haliburton, Myles Turner, and now Bennedict Mathurin.
Friday will be the first of two games that New York will play against Indiana in the preseason and both games will be another way to gauge where the Knicks stand ahead of the regular season. Based on what we saw from New York on Tuesday, here’s what to watch for in the team’s second preseason contest.
3: Who will stand out in the Knicks’ second unit?
One of the main takeaways from New York’s game against Detroit was the team’s depth. Outside of the starting five on Tuesday (Brunson, Fournier, Barrett, Randle, Robinson), players like Immanuel Quickley, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Miles McBride shined.
Quickley should be the first player off the bench if Quentin Grimes does end up taking Fournier’s starting spot this season. IQ worked to expand his game in the offseason by working on attacking the rim, which he put on display in his first outing of the year. Expect to see Quickley do more of the same against Indiana.
Hartenstein was a breath of fresh air at the five after Mitchell Robinson was subbed out of the game. The big man hit two three-pointers and made some crafty passes. Without Robinson in the game, Tom Thibodeau will be able to turn to both Hartenstein and Jericho Sims, who missed the first preseason game with a sore groin and is listed as questionable for tonight.
Entering the game against Indiana, the hope should be to get to see more from McBride, who tallied six steals in 23 minutes on Tuesday. With Grimes out (foot) and Cam Reddish (ankle) listed as questionable, McBride could see more minutes on Friday. His defense has been a plus, but to get more minutes in Thibs’ rotation, Deuce is going to need to be more of a factor on the offensive end.