NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Friday night, the playoff bound Miami Heat squared off against the New York Knicks. Not much was expected out of the Knicks, but many were surprised to see New York on the winning side of a blowout. The Knicks trounced Miami 122-98, and improved to a 28-51 record on the season.
The Knicks have been eliminated from playoff contention months ago, and obviously are trying to access young talent with these last few games of the season. Therefore the meaning of these games are less about wins and losses, and more about the development of younger players on the roster. With added playing time, this is a golden opportunity for the younger players to showcase what they can bring to New York next season.
Luke Kornet and Damyean Dotson made the most of their opportunity Friday night. Kornet finished with 17 points and eight rebounds. Kornet impressed with his hustle, and range from downtown. The rookie shot 4 for 6 from beyond the arc, and continued to be aggressive attacking the basket. It will be interesting to see if Kornet can crack the rotation next season.
Dotson stole the show, by netting a career high 30 points and 11 rebounds. With last night’s performance, Dotson more than likely solidified his roster spot for next season. Dotson has much upside with his game, which was on display against Miami. Fans in the Garden appreciate “blue collar” players, and Dotson fits that description. Dotson has proven he is exceptional at moving without the basketball, and has the athleticism to play good defense.
Saturday night, New York will face the Milwaukee Bucks and hope to make it back-to-back wins. With the continuity that this young group has played with, don’t be surprised if the Knicks in fact do stun the Bucks.
Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732
(Featured Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images)