Emmanuel Kwekley’s scoring off the bench was a major strength for the Knicks all season, so much so that he finished runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
But Quickley played a season-low nine minutes in Tuesday’s 111-105 win over the Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The combo guard scored six points, and averaged 8.6 points per game in seven post-season games, down from 14.9 in the regular season.
We need him,” said Tom Thibodeau after the game. Like, just get out there, rock a little bit [in the second half].
“He has a knack for putting the ball in the basket, and I don’t want him to think about it. Take your shot, when he’s aggressive and attacking, he’ll be fine. We’ve seen him now, as everyone knows, he’s a goalscorer.”
The Knicks second quarterback outscored Miami 17-2 at halftime — the only points scored by Kwikley, who missed all four of his 3-point attempts in the game.
He shoots 24.1 percent from long distance (7-for-29) in the playoffs.
Obi Tobin, who scored 18 points while starting in place of Julius Randle in Game 1, was held without a point in Game 2, and missed an attempted field goal in 10 minutes of play.
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Josh Hart made his fourth consecutive start in place of Quentin Grimes, who played 10 minutes off the bench in Game 1 after missing the last two first-round games against the Cavaliers with a shoulder injury.
Grimes played 25 minutes Tuesday night, including almost all of the fourth quarter.
“I like [Grimes’] “The defense, obviously, is a shooting piece of it,” Thibodeau said.
The MSG crowd was notable for its natural assembly of high-powered celebrities, but also Carmelo Anthony and Amar Stoudemire, two former Knicks players who made it to the second round in 2013.
Anthony received one of the loudest ovations of the night.
Jalen Bronson received one vote for the fifth-most valuable player in the league, tied for twelfth in the balloting.
A quick break
Really, was there any doubt? Despite an injured right ankle that made him a game-time decision, Jalen Bronson not only started but carried the Knicks to a come-from-behind victory. Bronson scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half and hit six three-pointers after going 0-for-7 from downtown in the series opener. He described this performance as “terrifying”. This was great
One of the Heat’s Game 1 heroes, Kevin Love couldn’t replicate that performance. He only managed eight points on 2-of-9 shooting and made two turnovers.
Josh Hart hit the biggest shot of the Cavaliers series, his go-ahead 3-pointer in Game 1, and his 3-pointer with 1:38 left Tuesday was just as important. I pushed a one-point lead to four.
The trade deadline’s possession was outstanding, with 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in a career-high 33 minutes.
16: 3-pointers hit the Knicks on Tuesday night, and it was his most this postseason by far. His previous high was 10 in Game 3 against the Cavaliers.
Quote from the night
“It doesn’t matter to be honest. [I’ll] I do whatever I have to do to make myself available.”
— Julius Randle, when asked if he feels pain in his sprained left ankle