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Knicks-Sixers: 5 takeaways from dramatic Game 4



Knicks-Sixers: 5 takeaways from dramatic Game 4

Jalen Brunson scores a franchise-record 47 factors, partly resulting from a really pointed recreation plan.

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The New York Knicks are 22-3 once they’ve had each Jalen Brunson and OG Anunoby within the lineup.

They had been two of the 5 gamers who performed greater than 43 minutes of Recreation 4 of the Knicks’ first-round collection in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday afternoon, and so they had their fingerprints throughout New York’s 97-92 victory.

Brunson scored 47 factors, a brand new Knicks playoff report, topping two 46-point performances from Bernard King in 1984. He additionally dished out 10 assists with just one turnover.

Anunoby added 16 factors, 14 rebounds and three blocks whereas additionally enjoying some vital protection on Joel Embiid.

Listed here are some numbers, notes and movie because the Knicks took a 3-1 collection lead…

1. Knicks and Brunson goal Embiid

In keeping with Second Spectrum monitoring, the Knicks set 52 ball screens for Brunson, with 35 of these 52 ball screens being set by the man Embiid was guarding. So whereas the staff’s two MVPs weren’t guarding one another, this recreation was very a lot Brunson vs. Embiid on the Knicks’ finish of the ground.

It began with Embiid in drop protection, defending the rim and (if Brunson’s defender obtained caught within the display screen) permitting Brunson to step into comfy leap photographs.

Jalen Brunson pull-up jumper

Generally Embiid was increased and Brunson was capable of put him on his heels…

Jalen Brunson floater in paint

That “on the degree” protection can typically present a runway for the roll man, however Embiid was twice capable of get well and contest or block a layup try by the Knicks’ bigs.

In the long run, Brunson obtained the higher of Embiid. He did rating 47 factors, in any case. Essentially the most spectacular of these 47 was a loopy, fading runner throughout his physique on the shot clock buzzer after Embiid was compelled to modify…

Jalen Brunson fading runner

A couple of minutes later, Embiid was nicely past the 3-point line and obtained caught on the unsuitable facet of the display screen as Brunson drove for a layup to place the Knicks up three with just a little greater than 5 minutes left.

Philly clearly must do a greater job of getting the ball out of Brunson’s fingers, and having Embiid guard pick-and-rolls extra aggressively will not be the answer. Will probably be as much as the opposite Sixers to navigate these screens higher and be prepared to assist off Brunson’s teammates.

2. Knicks proceed to dominate the glass

These New York teammates had been simply 5-for-19 from 3-point vary on Sunday, however are nonetheless 40-for-98 (41%) from past the arc on the collection.

Sending assist to the ball additionally leaves a protection weak on the glass, and the Knicks as soon as once more punished the Sixers with offensive rebounds…

  • In Recreation 2, the Knicks had simply 12 and 12, but it surely was Isaiah Hartenstein’s offensive rebound that led to Donte DiVincenzo’s game-winning 3-pointer.
  • In Recreation 4, the Knicks turned 15 offensive rebounds (and different second-chance alternatives due to loose-ball fouls or rebounds that went out of bounds) into 21 second-chance factors.

Greater than half (11) of these second-chance factors got here within the fourth quarter. And people 11 second-chance factors accounted for greater than half of the Knicks’ 20 factors within the interval. It was a one-point recreation after the third quarter and it was an unpleasant fourth, with the 2 groups combining to shoot 12-for-45 (27%).

When the sector aim proportion is a bit more than half the league common, rebounding is nearly twice as necessary. The winner on Sunday was the higher rebounding staff.

Within the first spherical in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers final 12 months, the Knicks retained 39.4% of accessible offensive boards, the best fee for any staff in any collection within the final 10 years. Their offensive rebounding proportion on this collection (38.9%) is barely a tick decrease than that.

3. Defending Embiid will not be a one-man job

The Knicks had been with out Mitchell Robinson, who re-injured his ankle in Recreation 3. And after committing zero fouls within the first half, Hartenstein picked up 5 within the third quarter. So Treasured Achiuwa performed the ultimate 13:25.

However he didn’t guard Embiid over that stretch. That job belonged to the 6-foot-8 Anunoby, although he had loads of assist.

“Embiid is a load,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau stated afterward. “You’re not guarding him individually. You gotta guard him together with your staff.”

The Sixers’ execution in opposition to double-teams was a combined bag. There have been possessions within the third quarter the place Tyrese Maxey shot too shortly or Kelly Oubre Jr. stopped the ball as an alternative of swinging it to a wide-open teammate.

They did get a pair good photographs out of the double halfway via the fourth. Down three, Kyle Lowry swung the ball to Maxey, who attacked the seam within the Knicks’ protection and located Oubre underneath the basket for a dunk…

Tyrese Maxey assist to Kelly Oubre Jr.

On the subsequent possession, Maxey missed a wide-open 3 when the Knicks’ first rotation was late (and coming from too far-off).

4. Knicks power Sixers to play late within the clock

That Oubre dunk with 5:04 left was the Sixers’ final area aim of the sport. The Knicks allowed that open Maxey 3 on the subsequent possession, however their protection was a lot better after that.

It began with holding the Sixers from moving into their offense. With the Knicks nonetheless up three and just a little greater than three minutes left, Philly tried to get Brunson switched onto Maxey. However Brunson and Miles McBride (with just a little assist from Achiuwa) didn’t let it occur…

Knicks defense vs. Sixers

When the Sixers lastly obtained the swap, there have been simply 5 seconds left on the shot clock. Brunson was capable of comprise Maxey’s preliminary drive, McBride got here again with a double-team, Anunoby rotated and scared Lowry off a 3-pointer, and Achiuwa rotated to dam Embiid’s 3 because the shot clock expired…

Precious Achiuwa block on Joel Embiid

On the subsequent possession, there have been eight seconds left on the clock earlier than the Sixers obtained what they needed (an Embiid submit catch), as a result of Anunoby initially stored the large man from utilizing an Oubre display screen. The Knicks doubled Embiid, Achiuwa rotated as much as Maxey, stored him out of the paint (as the opposite Knicks stayed dwelling on shooters), and compelled him into a troublesome, step-back jumper that got here up manner brief.

5. Knicks double, scramble and contest

The Sixers had been nonetheless down simply 4 when Lowry rebounded an Oubre miss. He instantly obtained the ball to Embiid on the left facet of the ground with 11 seconds left on the shot clock. As soon as once more, the Knicks introduced a double-team.

And as soon as once more, their rotations had been terrific, with Josh Hart making a terrific contest on Tobias Harris’ nook 3-point try…

Josh Hart contests Tobias Harris 3-pointer

At that time within the recreation, Anunoby had performed greater than 45 minutes, Hart had performed greater than 44 and Brunson had performed greater than 42. However the Knicks’ defensive vitality was nonetheless nearly as good because it will get.

After scoring 125 factors on simply 91 possessions (137 per 100) in Recreation 3, the Sixers had simply 92 on 91 in Recreation 4, together with simply 16 on 21 (76 per 100) within the fourth quarter.

That 22-3 report that the Knicks have with each Brunson and Anunoby features a 13-0 mark at Madison Sq. Backyard, the place they will finish this collection in Recreation 5 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, TNT).

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

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