The Knicks played phenomenal defense against the Magic

Holding an opponent to 74 points in 2024 is like watching a cow jump on cloud nine. The Orlando Magic didn’t know what hit them and didn’t expect New York to hit them out of the gate by showing better execution and intensity from the opening tip.

Paolo Banchero spoke about the Knicks post-game, saying, “I thought they did a good job…being physical…You could feel the intensity of their edge.” A huge block on Banchero by Isaiah Hartenstein in the third quarter while leading by 17 points demoralized any chance of a comeback.

The short-handed Knicks were recently ranked bottom three in the league in defensive rating, despite being 0-3 entering play against the Magic this season. With Brunson back, defensively skilled players can lock down instead of overexerting themselves on offense. Holding Orlando to 34% from the floor and 23% from three, OG Anunoby will take this defense back to another stratosphere when he returns.