Analysts Praise New York Knicks After Win vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Tom Thibodeau, Knicks, NBA
Mar 3, 2024; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau talks during a tempt in the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the NBA season, several games will stick out to teams as potential turning points. For the New York Knicks, Sunday evening against the Cleveland Cavaliers could turn out to be one of those games.

Ravaged by injuries, New York has been watching their spot in the standing slip. The No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference is now further away than the No. 8 seed, which would knock them into the NBA Play-In Tournament.

That is something the Knicks are looking to avoid, and their chances looked to have taken another massive hit on Sunday. On their first offensive possession of the game, All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson went down with an injury.

He was clutching at his left knee, requiring assistance to get to the locker room. The hearts of every Knicks fan sank at that moment, as a once-promising campaign was going down the gutter. How could New York survive the loss of Brunson while already dealing with OG Anunoby, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson being sidelined?

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Tom Thibodeau, Kendrick Perkins, Bob Myers, Miles McBride, New York Knicks Updates

A spirited, high-energy effort from everyone on the roster is a good place to start. In a huge upset, the Knicks defeated the Cavaliers 107-98 on Sunday night. Every one contributed in some fashion who played, picking up the slack from their injured teammates.

One of the things that Tom Thibodeau has instilled in his team since taking over as head coach is grit. No matter the situation, his guys don’t give up, giving 100 percent every night. It is something former NBA player turned-analyst Kendrick Perkins praised them for after the game.

“Their culture. Their grit. Their tenacity. Their mentality…The one thing you can’t replace is heart…The Knicks just keep competing…Think about this: No Randle, no OG, no Brunson, & they go into Cleveland & get the W,” Perkins said on NBA on ESPN.

The Nova Knicks stepped up for Brunson, as Josh Hart recorded the third-double of his career in the game and Donte DiVincenzo led the team with 28 points. Off the bench, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points as he gets more comfortable with his new team.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Tom Thibodeau, Kendrick Perkins, Bob Myers, Miles McBride, New York Knicks Updates

But, the most important performance came from Miles McBride. He was tasked with replacing Brunson and did as good of a job as the team could have hoped. It drew praise from former Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who was on NBA on ESPN with Perkins.

“That can’t happen if you’re Cleveland…I know you didn’t have Donovan Mitchell…McBride…Thibodeau checked him & never checked him out…classic Thibodeau––and he delivered…We talk about identity & people that are watching say “What’s an identity?”…The Knicks have built an identity of toughness…Comes from Thibodeau…and Brunson…these injuries are crazy for the Knicks…”

McBride entered the game with 11:13 remaining in the first quarter after the Brunson injury. He wouldn’t sit the rest of the game, playing every second until the final whistle and providing some big plays down the stretch.

The Knicks remaining as competitive as they have been despite being short-handed is a testament to the work everyone has done to turn the franchise around. When this team gets healthy, no one in the NBA is going to want to face them.

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