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New York Mecca Defended, Barrett Steps Up

New York Knicks are Up 3-1
Photo from SB Nation

Mecca Defended

Due to great defensive games in both Games 3 and 4, the New York Knicks defended the Mecca and were able to leave New York City up 3-1 heading into Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers scored a mere 79 points in Game 3 and 93 points in Game 4. With the Cavaliers scoring just 79 points in Game 3, they were the first team this season to score under 80 points in the regular season or playoffs.

Knicks Energy

The Knicks fans definitely brought the energy to Madison Square Garden which was crucial to the Knicks winning both games at home giving them the 3-1 lead heading into their Game 5 matchup on Wednesday. As previously mentioned, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle knew the energy at the Garden was going to be ecstatic and they looked forward to playing there.

RJ Barrett Stepping Up

Barrett definitely looked more confident once he returned home to New York as he had his best games of the series. In both Game 1 and 2 on the road he shot a combined 6-25 from the field. After two straight rocky performances, Barrett looked much better at home in MSG. In Game 3, he improved his shooting, with 8-12 from the field and 3-6 from three, tallying 19 points.

In the next game, Barrett continued his hot streak of shooting, scoring 26 points on 9-18 from the field. In the most important games of his young NBA career, he balled out and showed he was worthy of being the third pick in the draft in 2019. All it took for Barrett is confidence in himself.

Josh Hart’s New York Moment

Josh Hart had his playoff moment in Game 4 when he had 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. He has definitely been the spark plug for the Knicks once they acquired him before the trade deadline. With the way he has been playing and loved by the Knicks crowd, he definitely should be re-signed.

Obi Toppin Stepping Up

Even though forward Obi Toppin is getting limited minutes, he is making the most of them. In Game 3, he had eight points, three rebounds, one assist, four steals, and a block. In Game 4, he played 25 minutes after Randle was benched the whole quarter, providing much needed support on the defensive end. He had eight rebounds and was tied for a game-high plus minus of +11 with teammate Immanuel Quickley.

Mitchell Robinson Playing With Intensity

Mitchell Robinson had one of the better games he has had in awhile due to his elite defense. On the court, he secured a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. In addition to the double-double, he had two crucial blocks down the stretch.

Knicks Up 3-1

Defending the Mecca was key for the New York Knicks. Winning both home games secured home field advantage for the Knicks should the Cavs avoid elimination tonight in Game 5. With the series up 3-1, the Knicks are in complete control of this series against Cleveland.

Game 5 starts at 7pm ET on TNT.

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