What are we to think?
It's so early in the NBA season but the Knicks have been a surprise. That topped the 295 put up in 1984-85 by Bernard King, who was courtside Tuesday. The matchup to watch is between Marvin Williams and Kristaps Porzingis.
Payton will be a factor for this game, but Simmons may be more impactful as he's expected to slot back into his customary scorer's role off the bench. His tentacle-like wingspan allows him to deflect any ball within reach-and he's already second in the NBA in * a href="http://stats.nba.com/players/hustle/?sort=DEFLECTIONS&dir=1&Season=2017-18&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&PerMode=Per36&CF=MIN*GE*100" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *deflections per 36 minutes among players with at least 100 minutes logged. The odds are that won't continue. He's not just putting up big numbers.
The 22-year-old is averaging 30 points per game and has established the Knicks franchise record for most total points through 10 games. His lack of shooting ability and free throw shooting woes also make him a liability in end-of-game situations. Porzingis said that he aggravated the pain on his elbow against the Hornets.
- New York magnifies everything. From now until Christmas they play 14 more at home and just eight on the road.
Slowing Porzingis, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, will be the Orlando Magic's toughest task when they host the surprising Knicks tonight at Amway Center.
This is one of the greatest gambles by an exec in recent memory. "We stay together throughout the game, we don't ever give up, and then we were able to win those close games".
Factor in the calming influence of Jarrett Jack with a roster full of players focused on proving themselves and you have a legitimate basketball team.
"I always accept the challenge and that's why I knew coming into this season, if Melo was not going to be here, then I am going to have to be the guy".
Kristaps Porzingis entered the 2017-2018 NBA season in a weird spot. Porzingis and the Knicks didn't want to risk further injury by completing the back-to-back. We'll deal with all that stuff later. But at the same time, he's quick and mobile. Kyle O'Quinn's shooting is way up as well (5 percent above his career average). The Knicks extend their streak to three with a 108-104 home win over the Hornets. Most endearingly to their fan base, the Knicks have dramatically become a defensive oriented team. What about the last two games? Obviously, against Porzingis, it's going to have to be a real team effort. So if you're bad there, you're the worst ever. If they drop down to 25-30 you can book no better than a 32-win season. Not without their star. The Magic had been thin at point guard with hamstring injuries to both Payton and backup D. J. Augustin and were using Shelvin Mack before elevating Simmons for a game.