Knicks’ Big Three finally do what fans have been waiting for in road win

Nov 21, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) defends the shot during the second quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Luguentz Dort (5) defends the shot during the second quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

After losing back-to-back games on their Western Conference road trip, the Knicks notched their way back to .500 with Monday’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, winning 129-119.

This was a much-needed win for more than one reason. Not only did they need this victory to get back to .500, but this kind of win can shift New York’s momentum for the next couple of weeks, especially with how well the starting lineup played.

While we have seen some very good games out of individual players, we have yet to really see the starting lineup play well together and connect with one another. In this game, however, we finally saw great games out of the Knicks’ big three, as they scored a combined 84 points.

Knicks’ starting lineup finally meshes together in win over Thunder

The last five games have not been kind to RJ Barrett at all, however, Barrett finally found his stride on Monday. He dropped 25 points, eight rebounds, and two assists while shooting 10-of-16 from the field and 3-of-4 from three. It was very clear that Barrett was playing those five games while sick, but that was no excuse for just how poor he was playing, let alone the way in which he was forcing his offense.

Barrett looked much improved on Monday. He was hitting the holes faster, making some quality passes, and most importantly, he finally hit his threes at a consistent level. This was a huge game for Barrett, and hopefully, it will give him some momentum entering the next couple of games.

Consistency has always been a problem with Barrett throughout his career, so while this level of play may not continue in consecutive games, it is still a beautiful thing to see. Regardless, I wish nothing but the best for Barrett and hope he continues this level of play for not only his sake but the sake of the team’s success.

In my previous article, I mentioned how well Jalen Brunson has been playing this season, and his hot streak continued on Monday.

Brunson has been everything the Knicks have needed at point guard and more this season. Not only does he provide high-level, efficient scoring, but his 6.5 assists to 1.7 turnovers is just the icing on the cake.

Against the Thunder, Brunson dropped a ridiculous 34 points and nine assists while shooting 14-of-20 from the field and 1-of-6 from three. Outside of his poor three-point shooting, there was not a thing Brunson couldn’t do offensively on Monday night. Brunson has struggled to hit his threes all season, however, when you do everything else as well as he does offensively, that is something you can live with.

Despite all the criticism New York received for paying Brunson, I’d say he has without a doubt been worth the money he is being paid. He is not the best defender, but that is not what he is being paid to do.

If he keeps this up as the season goes on, Knicks fans may be crazy enough to get him voted into the All-Star game. While he likely wouldn’t be deserving of it compared to the other guards in the East, to be a great PG for New York deserves its own award considering how dry the position has been for the last 15 years.

As for Julius Randle, he has been playing some of the best offense of his career from a statistical standpoint. Obviously, he still has his occasional boneheaded shot selection and some rather horrid defense, but we’ll take anything we can out of Randle at this point.

In his last nine games, Randle is averaging 23.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 48.6% from the field and a rather impressive 39.7% from three on 7.6 attempts per game. It is very clear that taking the ball out of Randle’s hands more has done wonders for his offensive game.

Against the Thunder, Randle racked up 25 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist while shooting 9-of-16 from the field and 2-of-6 from three. While he definitely had some interesting shot selection on some of his three-point attempts — again — we’ll take the good with the bad.

These three finally meshing well and performing at a high level in the same game is exactly what this team needs to succeed. We have seen the effects that one of these three players performing poorly has on the Knicks, so it’s about time we see the big three all play well together.

This game showed just how important Randle, Barrett, and Brunson are to this team. Hopefully, this game will create some momentum entering New York’s next two games at home. The Knicks will face off against the Trail Blazers on Friday and the Grizzlies on Sunday. These are two tough teams to beat so Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Jalen Brunson are going to need to play their best yet again.