It’s been a long time coming, but Knicks fans, it’s time to rejoice: the Knicks are fun. The Madison Square Garden’s roar of “defense” is back as this New York Knicks team pours their heart out on the hardwood, genuinely connecting to the everyday gritty lifestyle of real New Yorkers as Kristaps Porzingis cited in his postgame interview last night.
The combination of young players stepping up and veterans putting forth full effort, as opposed to last year, has made this Knicks team so fun to watch. Frank Ntilikina locks down the perimeter while Kristaps Porzingis swats everything within his reach in the paint — there is something brewing in the Garden.
The future is in the hands of Porzingis and Ntilikina. They are off to a fantastic start, as the Knicks have the makeup of a team that New York will love. Porzingis sent the Garden crowd into a frenzy last night with a career-high 40-point six-block performance in the win against the Pacers. However, the most prominent moment of the night belonged to 19-year-old rookie Frank Ntilikina.
Porzingis did something significant in that possession where Ntilikina hit the go-ahead three. As seen in the video, Porzingis dribbled left in an attempt to give the Knicks the lead with a huge shot. Instead, he noticed the double team and saw his teammate wide open for a shot and passed it to him.
KP made an unbelievable play; being the star player on his team, he passed the ball to a 19-year-old rookie to take the go-ahead three. It’s significant because there are countless times where the Knicks former franchise player who now plays for the Thunder would decide to shoot the contested shot rather than pass to the open man. That pass from Porzingis jolted a massive boost of confidence into his rookie.
Ntilikina turned in the best performance of his young career, finishing with 10 points seven assists and three steals in 24 minutes. Jeff Hornacek gave the rookie the most valuable minutes of his career as he played every second of the fourth quarter. Ntilikina used every inch of his seven-foot wingspan to disrupt the passing lanes and frustrate his opponent.
The fun doesn’t end at Ntilikina and Porzingis; it goes on to Enes Kanter grabbing everything off that rim, Tim Hardaway Jr. contributing down the stretch, Lance Thomas giving his best effort on defense — the list goes on and on and on. There are endless reasons to be excited about what has happened during the first nine games of this Knicks season.
Sit back and enjoy, as this New York Knicks team is one of the most fun teams in the league, and it’s hard to see it coming to an end anytime soon.
[Featured Image by Elsa/Getty Images]