There was a lot to hate about the Knicks’ 116-113 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Knicks’ supposedly formidable defense gave up 70 points in the first half, and they trailed by 20 for much of the fight. The defensive dynamo that is Elfrid Payton (sarcasm alert) could not stop Damian Lillard, who had 15 points in the first quarter. This former Knick rascal Enes Kanter completely outperformed Mitchell Robinson and even played a good defense against Julius Randle.
But forget all that for a moment, and let’s focus on Immanuel Quickley. Almost every Knicks fan called out Quickley to start, and on Sunday night he showed why by almost bringing about a 20-point comeback with an insane 31-point performance.
IQ was bestial beyond the arc, shooting 5-8.
He also shot 8-8 on free throws thanks to some astute drawing skills.
He had 4 assists, and could have had a lot more… I counted three excellent lobs that came off the hands of various Knicks bigs, including Nerlens Noel. When IQ finally got to play with Mitch, the results were magical.
This is what we wanted: competitive games with children who show real growth. I’d love to see more of the rest of the squad next time around – and I’d like them to leave Elfrid Payton in Portland – but IQ looks like a keeper.
Matt Miranda had some issues watching the game, but we promise he’ll have the recap tomorrow at some point. Until then, rest.
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