Knicks prove their resiliency, use balanced attack in dominant win over 76ers

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Julius Randle backs down Tobias Harris
Julius Randle backs down Tobias Harris

Derrick Rose said he was in a "depression-type state" late Sunday night after the Knicks lost to the Orlando Magic. Julius Randle couldn’t sleep.

"I didn’t go to sleep until like 4 o’clock in the morning (after the game). I was sick. Everybody else was sick," Randle said.

The raw feeling from that loss carried over to Monday’s practice.

"The next day and (Monday) night, the gym was packed with people working," Tom Thibodeau said.

The work showed on Tuesday night against Philadelphia.

New York used a balanced scoring attack (eight players scored at least eight points) and an active defense to dominate Joel Embiid and the 76ers.

The win was evidence that this year’s Knicks team – much like last year’s – can learn from its mistakes and handle adversity.

"That’s the thing about good teams in this league – high character teams. It’s okay to have adversity, it’s okay to have slip-ups. It’s how you respond," Randle said.

New York is 3-1 heading into an intriguing early-season matchup with the 4-0 Chicago Bulls. If they can defend and move the ball against the Bulls the way they did on Tuesday, they should put up a good fight against Chicago.

The Knicks hit 43 percent of their threes against Philly and held Embiid to 14 points on 2-for-7 shooting.

They beat one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference on a night when Randle and RJ Barrett combined to shoot 11-for-28.

"Any night anybody can score and make plays. And that’s what this team was built to do," said Randle, who finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover. "... Like I’ve been saying all year, as long as we defend, we’re going to have a shot to win every game."

EMBIID IFFY?

One NBA personnel evaluator who watched the game felt that Embiid’s knee didn’t look right. Embiid’s status was up in the air prior to tipoff due to soreness in his surgically-repaired right knee. He played, but wasn’t very effective.

To the NBA personnel evaluator watching the game, it looked like Embiid was dragging a bit.

But you also should credit the Knicks’ defense – from Mitchell Robinson, Taj Gibson, and the players they shared the floor with.

New York showed Embiid several different looks defensively over the course of the game.

The added weight that Robinson put on in the offseason seemed to help him bother Embiid on defense.

"I think he’s holding his ground better," Thibodeau said of Robinson earlier this week. "I think he’s been out a long period of time so I think some of that weight will come off as we come along here. For the most part, he put a lot of time into the weight room and so I think that’s good.

"I think there’s a natural maturation he is going through as he gets older and his experiences. He’s gotten stronger as his body has developed and also having the knowledge of who he is going against. You play against someone five times, it will be different than your 20th time. I think that’s where he’s at now."