Since he joined the New York Knicks at the beginning of the new season, Jalen Brunson has been nothing short of remarkable. There is no doubt that the Knicks made the proper choice in spending a lot of money to sign the former Dallas Mavericks guard in free agency at this point. However, it’s also difficult to argue that the Knicks would have improved greatly if Donovan Mitchell had been a member of their team.
After exploding for 38 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mitchell, who the Knicks so sensationally lost out on during the offseason, showed New York just what they were missing. Mitchell received a lot of praise from Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau following the game, according to Peter Botte of the New York Post:
Love and Mitchell were an issue. Naturally, Mitchell is going to get a lot of attention, which he did, and we failed to close as forcefully as we should have, according to coach Tom Thibodeau. We just need to stop Mitchell from making 13 threes; although harder to make off the dribble, he is a good shooter. Then comes love, which has long been his source of strength. Also Wade.
Mitchell exploded for the Cavaliers, draining no less than eight triples in one night. With eight treys of his own, Kevin Love joined the celebration as Cleveland triumphed 121-108.
Even though the Knicks led by nine points going into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers’ mind-blowing 37-15 fourth quarter ensured that New York would not be able to win on the road on Sunday night.
Although Thibodeau praised the Knicks for their effort, he had to remind his squad that they needed to finish off games:
The issue, he explained, was that they had 50 [3s] up. “You need to take multiple actions. You must compete, be committed to the game, be able to touch the screen, and drop with the roller.
I enjoyed our first three-quarters of the competition. I believed we accomplished a lot of positive things, but we must recognize the intensity of the final three months. We must improve, and we will. The Knicks are currently 3-3 and will play against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden.