Knicks takeaways from Saturday’s 121-112 preseason loss to Timberwolves, including RJ Barrett’s 23 points


After the Knicks opened the preseason with a win over the Celtics, New York fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 121-112, at MSG on Saturday night.

The likely opening night starting five of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes and Mitchell Robinson started.

Here are the takeaways….

– The Knicks got out to an 8-0 start thanks to aggressive moves to the basket by Grimes and Barrett. Barrett especially attacked the rim and was rewarded with a pair of and-ones to start his evening. They also drew four personal fouls in the first four minutes of the game.

The T’Wolves, who had a hard time buying a basket in the opening minutes, would go on a few runs to cut the Knicks’ lead. The Knicks stayed aggressive and got to the foul line 14 times. A 4-0 run to end the first for Minnesota had them trailing 28-30 after the first. The starters played most of the first quarter with Josh Hart coming in for his first minutes of the preseason and giving the MSG crowd some excitement with a hustle play to try and save a loose ball. Even in the preseason, Hart showed the style of play that has made him a fan-favorite.

-The secondary unit played some significant minutes in the second with Donte DiVincenzo impressing with his defense and Evan Fournier knocking down some shots. Fournier scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting including 2-of-4 from three. However, Minnesota’s offense was relentless and took the lead, 57-54, at the half.

Barrett led the Knicks with 15 points on 4-for-8 shooting. He was also 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in 14 minutes of play. Randle struggled from the field, scoring just one point on 0-for-5 shooting. He did grab five rebounds and dish three assists in 15 minutes. In 14 minutes of play, Brunson scored nine points on 1-for-5 shooting including 7-for-7 from the charity strike.

-The Knicks entered the third quarter making just three 3-pointers, but Randle would start to feel it midway through the frame. He would hit his first field goal, a three, before making another. Barrett would hit a three to cap a 9-2 run for the Knicks to give them the lead after Minnesota had taken control of the game due to poor defense and just missing shots.

Despite Barrett’s best efforts, Minnesota went on a 6-0 run to build a sizeable lead with two minutes remaining. The Timberwolves’ ball movement countered the Knicks’ aggressiveness on defense and to the basket as the two sides finished the third tied at 84.

-Minnesota’s Naz Reid hit a three to open the fourth, his fifth of the game, before the T’wolves hit another three to go on a 6-0 run to start the final frame. Minnesota would open up a double-digit lead when both benches would clear to put in the third and fourth units.

Isaiah Roby was a ball of energy on both sides of the floor while Miles McBride started to knock down 3-pointers as the Knicks’ best offensive option. From there, it became a track meet where rarely any defense was played, as players from both teams tried to show off their skills for their respective sides.

-Although the Knicks were impressive on offense, the number of 3s the T’wolves shot up was incredible. They finished 20-48 while New York went 13-for-35

As for the usual rotation guys, Brunson didn’t play the entire second half. Randle finished 2-of-8 for seven points, eight rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes. Barrett was the tone-setter for the Knicks, scoring 23 points in 26 minutes on 6-of-15 shooting and 9-ofr-12 from the free throw line.

Highlights

What’s next

The Knicks take on the Celtics in Boston on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m



Source link: https://sports.yahoo.com/knicks-takeaways-saturday-121-112-020229117.html

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