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5 takeaways from N.Y.’s miraculous Game 2 rally



Knicks steal ball from Tyrese Maxey

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NEW YORK — It was 29 years in the past that Reggie Miller scored eight factors in 8.9 seconds on this identical constructing, a brutal reminiscence for the New York Knicks and their followers.

They didn’t fairly get full redemption in Recreation 2 of their first-round sequence with the Philadelphia 76ers, however eight factors in 20.4 seconds – on the other finish of the ground of Miller’s heroics –was sufficient for the Knicks to show a five-point deficit right into a three-point victory on Monday.

On the opposite aspect, it was a painful sequence for the Sixers, who had come again from eight factors down early within the fourth quarter and seemingly had the sport in hand.

Listed below are some notes, quotes, numbers and movie because the sequence heads to Philadelphia with the Knicks up 2-0.

1. A miraculous sequence turns it round for the Knicks

Earlier than issues received wild, Kyle Lowry was fouled within the backcourt and had the chance to place the Sixers up six with 47.3 seconds left. However he break up his two free throws, making it only a five-point recreation.

Lowry has shot 86% from the road during the last 4 seasons, and the Sixers have been the second-best free throw taking pictures group within the common season (82.6%). However they have been simply 16-for-22 (72.7%) on Monday, with Joel Embiid going 8-for-12. Philly has shot worse than 73% from the road simply 11 instances (in 85 whole video games) this season, and three of these 11 situations have come at Madison Sq. Backyard.

Then the insanity started:

  • Brunson was stripped, however Donte DiVincenzo grabbed the ball again from Lowry.
  • DiVincenzo ultimately discovered Brunson within the left nook, and Brunson’s side-step 3-pointer bounced excessive off the rim and thru the online to make it a two-point recreation with 27.0 seconds left.
  • Tyrese Maxey fumbled Lowry’s inbounds go, maybe as a result of he was held by Brunson. He managed to achieve up and seize the ball, however wasn’t on stability and hit the ground. Josh Hart then took the ball away.

Sixers coach Nick Nurse claimed afterward that he referred to as timeout twice, as soon as earlier than the ball was inbounded and once more when Maxey was on the ground. However upon assessment of the movie, it appeared like he was hesitating to name what would have been the Sixers’ ultimate timeout within the first occasion. And after Maxey hit the ground, it was only a split-second earlier than Hart took the ball away:

  • Hart received the ball to DiVincenzo, who missed a wide-open, left-wing 3 for the lead. However Isaiah Hartenstein crashed from the perimeter and went untouched as he leapt and grabbed the offensive rebound (extra on that under).
  • Hartenstein was swarmed, however managed to get the ball to OG Anunoby, who handed it to DiVincenzo on the high of the arc. Nicolas Batum closed out onerous, however DiVincenzo drained a protracted 3 for the lead with 13.1 on the clock.

Successful on this league is difficult. And the Sixers came upon, nicely … the onerous method in Recreation 2.

2. Win the rebounding battle, win the sport

The Knicks completely destroyed the Sixers on the glass in Recreation 1, turning 23 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance factors. The Sixers did a a lot better job in Recreation 2, with New York totaling 12 offensive rebounds and simply 12 second-chance factors.

However Philly wanted these numbers to be 11 and 9. Even regardless of the backcourt turnover, they win the sport in the event that they get a physique on Hartenstein and rebound DiVincenzo’s preliminary miss:

Isaiah Hartenstein rebound, Donte DiVincenzo 3-pointer

In the long run, the Sixers collected 49.1% of the obtainable rebounds on Monday.

“If we win the rebounding battle in that recreation,” Maxey stated, “we win the sport.”

3. The Sixers’ MVP is Tyrese Maxey

The ultimate sequence ruined an unbelievable recreation from Maxey, who completed with 35 factors, eight rebounds and 10 assists. This got here after a 33-point efficiency in Recreation 1 on Saturday, and after he fell ailing between video games.

The Sixers listed their level guard as questionable for Monday, however he did what was essential to play (“I actually can’t stand taking medication,” he stated). He performed greater than 44 minutes and was one of the best participant on the ground.

The Knicks merely haven’t discovered a solution for Maxey, who’s discovered some ways to beat them.

Rejecting screens:

Tyrese Maxey drive

Setting screens himself:

Tyrese Maxey screen and drive

Chopping again door when he’s being top-blocked:

Tyrese Maxey back door cut

He actually turned it up in that fourth quarter, when he poured in 15 factors because the Sixers scored 27 on their first 18 possessions to take that five-point lead.

If the Knicks stopped his preliminary push, Maxey was seeking to get the ball again and take a look at once more:

Tyrese Maxey pull-up jumper

“The final quarter-hour,” Nurse stated, “he was actually chasing it down, turning on the jets and slamming on brakes, doing all of the issues he can do time and time once more.”

4. Brunson continues to battle from the sphere

The Sixers typically tried to get Brunson matched up with Maxey. And on the opposite finish of the ground, the Knicks tried the identical. However Brunson, regardless of that late 3 that bounced in, wasn’t as profitable, and he’s now 16-for-55 (29%) within the sequence.

Sure, that’s 55 photographs in simply two video games.

The All-NBA candidate is clearly the main focus of the Sixers’ protection. They’re not double-teaming him, however they’re shading his method, particularly if he will get the Maxey swap. And if he will get into the paint, a second Philly defender will abandon his man to contest Brunson’s shot.

That spotlight is the largest cause why Hart (who performed 48 minutes on Monday) has tried 15 3-pointers within the two video games. That he’s made eight of these 15 is likely one of the largest causes the Knicks are up 2-0.

Brunson may in all probability be passing extra as his shot chart just isn’t an environment friendly one, with 37 of his 55 photographs (67%) having come from between the restricted space and the 3-point line. That charge is up from 51% within the common season.

5. Hartenstein comes up huge

Embiid wasn’t tremendous environment friendly (34 factors on 12-for-29 taking pictures), however was higher offensively on Monday than he was in Recreation 1. And the Sixers have now outscored the Knicks by 17 factors in his 76 minutes within the sequence, getting outscored by 27 (72.7 per 100 possessions) in his 20 minutes off the ground.

Hartenstein wasn’t Embiid’s equal in Recreation 2, however he was all the pieces the Knicks wanted on the 5, ending with 14 factors, eight rebounds (together with the one which led to DiVincenzo’s go-ahead 3), 4 assists and 4 blocks.

Eight of these factors got here on 4 completely enormous push photographs within the ultimate quarter-hour to offer an outlet for the Knicks ballhandlers who drew consideration from Embiid.

And after DiVincenzo’s 3-pointer put the Knicks up one, Hartenstein was ready to stick with Maxey and block his layup to basically seal the win for the Knicks:

He’s not the MVP, and he’s rather less invaluable with Mitchell Robinson again after a 3 1/2 month absence. However Hartenstein has been extremely vital for the Knicks this season and on this sequence.

The sequence isn’t over but. These have been two tightly-contested video games and the Sixers now head house, the place they’re 20-5 with Embiid within the lineup. Recreation 3 is Thursday (7:30 ET, TNT).

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John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for You possibly can e-mail him right here, discover his archive right here and follow him on X. 

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