The New York Knicks ended a 15-game losing streak against the Philadelphia 76ers after an offensive eruption led by Kemba Walker and Julius Randle. Following a tight first quarter, where the 76ers led by three points, the Knicks scored an avalanche of points that left the visiting team reeling.
NBA Insider Ian Begley tweeted Julius Randle’s reply when the All-Star forward was asked about the surprise offensive barrage by the New York Knicks.
Here’s what Randle had to say in the post-game interview:
“That’s what this team was built to do...Like I’ve been saying all year, as long as we defend, we’re going to have a shot to win every game.”
The New York Knicks acquired former All-Star and Bronx native Kemba Walker in the offseason. Following him shortly was veteran shooting guard Evan Fournier. Both signings have been instrumental in the last few games, helping New York to an impressive start to the season.
Walker had his best game of the season against the Philadelphia 76ers. He torched Philly’s defense, going 7-15 from the field, including 5-11 from the line. Fournier finished off what Walker started. The French international scored crucial baskets when the 76ers were trying to mount a rally. He piled 18 points on 4-6 shooting from deep.
Derrick Rose, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle rounded up the double-digit scorers for the New York Knicks to overwhelm the Philadelphia 76ers. More impressively, Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley and Mitchell Robinson were only at least a three-point shot away from reaching double-digit scoring.
If the New York Knicks’ offense consistently brings this kind of production to the table, they’ll be in the conversation as among the best in the East.
Can the New York Knicks and Julius Randle sustain this kind of output?
Maintaining this kind of production is doable for the New York Knicks if they remain healthy. Their scoring stat line does not have one scorer with more than 20 points. More importantly, the players did not deviate from what they usually do to put up the points. They were lighting up the scoresheet on their normal shots.
The New York Knicks are sitting in 4th place in Offensive Ratings at 113.1 after four games in the 2021-22 NBA season. Last year, they finished the regular season with 110.2, which was good for the 22nd spot. Sustaining this type of production is realistic after the team’s marquee acquisitions and the development of their young players.
Defense, though, is where the New York Knicks will hang their hats on. It has been Tom Thibodeau's calling card in his years of coaching. If not for the Knicks' defense last year, they would not have made their surprising run to the playoffs.
The offense will make the Knicks more formidable, but it will be the defense that will carry them to their lofty goals.