After counting up to 24 points in advance, the Pelicans plunge the Knicks a little more into the crisis, winning 102-91 at Madison Square Garden. Started at a very slow pace, the meeting was first marked by a dunk contest between Mitchell Robinson and Jaxson Hayes.
For the rest, we are bored with hard attacks, lost balls and we are already waiting for the first whistles. Only RJ Barrett floats in this offensive drought, while tempers flare in the paint between Jonas Valanciunas and Mitchell Robinson. At the break, the Pelicans are ahead (46-42).
Back from the locker room, change of scenario. The Pelicans change gears and Devonte ‘Graham makes his team run. The Bockers do not know what to do, and take a 24-9 in six minutes, which once again drives Tom Thibodeau mad on his bench. Knicks fans demand Obi Toppin’s entrance, and cries of displeasure begin to descend from the halls.
The gap exceeds 20 points and the second knives are trying to restore New York’s image a little. But Willie Green’s men unfold and win 102-91. This is the Knicks’ third straight loss at home.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Slow first quarter. 0/6 from afar and 6/21 on shots, for only 17 points scored. The first twelve minutes of the premises will have been a good offensive purge. TOm Thibodeau was furious on his bench, no player followed his instructions during the first quarter apart from Mitchell Robinson who picked up a few crumbs to convert them into a dunk.
– A one-sided 3rd quarter. Thanks to Devonte ‘Graham, Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans sign a 32-12 return from the locker room to take a 24-point lead. A striking contrast between enthusiasm on one side and gloom on the other.
– Brandon Ingram injured. The Pelicans star injured his ankle and he did not play in the 4th quarter. Willie Green announced that he was going to take exams in New Orleans.
✅ Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian flexed his muscles in the paint, tutoring Mitchell Robinson on low post moves. Efficient, unadorned and solid in defense, the former pivot of the Raptors and the Grizzlies was the strong link of his team with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks.
✅ Josh Hart. The former Laker is valuable in his position, and does the right thing when it’s needed. He does not force any shots (5/10 in shots), and filled the statistics sheet like a good soldier (7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 interception and 0 lost ball). His agreement with Brandon Ingram is very interesting, and despite his team’s bad season, the Pelicans can count on his fighting spirit every night.
⛔ Julius Randle. New evening “off” for the “franchise player” of the Knicks. Four small units at 1/9 on shots, but also an execrable attitude throughout the meeting, like a capricious child who screams at everything to be heard. Even after taking a technical foul right at the buzzer of the first period, he didn’t take the time to calm down in the locker room at the break…
New York (22-24) : still at home to face the Clippers on Sunday
New Orleans (17-28) : nice break before hosting the Pacers on Monday