Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Here are a few takeaways from the Knicks' 104-99 win over the Wizards:
MORRIS EJECTED: Marcus Morris was ejected 13 seconds into the second half for doing something you don't see often. First, he appeared to hit Justin Anderson, his defender, with an elbow when he swung his arms through to create space. That happens regularly in the NBA. Here's the odd part. He then hit Anderson in the head with the ball and started jawing with him. He received a flagrant-two, presumably for the whole sequence.
Sometimes, the league suspends a player who commits a flagrant-two if it's deemed he acted intentionally. So Morris may not be available for Friday's game against Washington.
Morris was fantastic in the first half, leading the Knicks with 17 points and seven rebounds. He hit three of his four 3-point attempts and helped New York build a 15-point lead. After Morris' ejection, Washington outscored New York by 15 over the next six minutes to tie the game.
BARRETT DEBUT: RJ Barrett impacted the game on both ends of the floor in the third quarter. He had nine points, two assists, two rebounds and one steal to help New York rebuild its lead. Barrett's strength was apparent midway through the quarter when he used his body to create space and convert layups on back-to-back possessions. He also knocked down a 3-pointer and drew a charge in the quarter.
It was a productive stretch after a slow start for Barrett. The No. 3 overall pick missed his first four 3-point attempts in the first half and had one turnover. As is always the case with preseason basketball, it's silly to overreact to anything you saw from Barrett tonight.
PAYTON SOLID: Elfrid Payton did a solid job running the Knicks' offense as the starting point guard. He had five points and five assists in 25 minutes. New York outscored Washington by five with Payton on the floor. Frank Ntilikina backed Payton up and had nine points on 3-for-10 shooting to go along with two assists and five rebounds. Ntilikina defended relatively well and, while he didn't have a great shooting night, he didn't stop shooting. The Knicks outscored Washington by 13 with Ntilikina on the court. This is a pivotal stretch for Ntilikina as the Knicks have until the end of the month to decide whether or not to pick up his 2020-21 option.
New York also has to make decisions on options for Kevin Knox II and Dennis Smith Jr. Knox II had 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting off the bench. Taj Gibson led New York off the bench with 16 points and nine rebounds.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks' next preseason game is on Friday against Washington at Madison Square Garden. It will be interesting to see which lineups David Fizdale goes with in game No. 2.