Is the Knicks young core wearing down Jimmy Butler and the Heat? | No Cap Room
Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer and Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Dan Devine discuss the solid foundation in New York after Jalen Brunson’s big night and if Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler is wearing down as the series is extended to a sixth game. Hear the full conversation on the Ball Don't Lie podcast network - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
JAKE FISCHER: Jalen Brunson is the truth. That was my takeaway from the Knicks' win over the Heat, that this is something far different from when they made the playoffs and it was a breakthrough, and the Garden was freaking out. And then Trae Young stomped all over their hopes and dreams.
You won a first round series. You weren't lunch meat in the second. I think that's kind of my takeaway here. What did you leave the Garden, in your head and in your fingertips, as you started pounding the keys for 17 hours straight?
DAN DEVINE: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. It allows the sort of broader perspective to remain intact. If you go back to September, October and you said the Knicks are going to have a top three or four offense, they're going to be a top six team in the East, they're going to win a playoff series, they're going to look good in the second round, I think people would have been like, that is ahead of schedule and a big surprise.
Quentin Grimes playing 48 minutes of two-way ball last night was one of the main reasons the Knicks were able to win. RJ Barrett having, I think, 20 or more in six of his last seven games and looking really aggressive and getting downhill, get into his shot, clutch free throws last night, that was a huge reason they won that game.
The Knicks are now able-- whatever comes next, they're able to go into the postseason-- or the offseason rather, and say, all of the stuff we had to make a big superstar deal or put a package together, we've still got all of that. And we feel confident in our 26-and-under a core of guys that we've got that they can get better, and we can continue to build with what we have. The Knicks could have absolutely folded like a cheap suit at the end of that first quarter. And for them to fight, to get back in the fight, and for Randle too to shake off a bad start and play really well for the next three quarters on the offensive end at least, that mattered to show there is something building there.
Maybe it all washes away on the beach in Miami in a couple of days. But if that's going to happen, it will happen because the Heat beat them, not because they just kind of crumbled and fell down. And I think great all around game from Jimmy last night, 19 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, the blocks, the steals, the off-ball defense, the way he's gumming up the works. But you wonder if we're reaching a point where all of the minutes and all of the pressure on the injured leg is starting to wear him down a little bit, and all the defensive responsibility he is starting to wear him down a little bit.
And if that's the case and you get into another one of those close and late situations, is it going to have to be somebody else making those plays? And where does Miami go if-- all you might need if you're the Knicks is one or two of those things to go your way late in game six, where they didn't go your way in game four. And then you're talking about maybe home game seven is still in play.
So a lot up in the air still. But I'm with you. I kind of expected we'd be talking today, a postmortem about what the Knicks need to do this summer. And not today, not yet.