East Notes: Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Cavs, Hawks, Trae Young


The Knicks’ 99-79 win over the Cavaliers in Game 3 of their playoff series was one of the most dominating playoff performances in franchise history. Coach Tom Thibodeau largely credited the defense.

“I thought we had good overall activity, good intensity. Guys were connected,” Thibodeau said, via Peter Botte of the New York Post. “Did a good job challenging shots and then finishing. … But it’s one game. Now the challenge is to get ready for Game 4.”

Meanwhile, guard Jalen Brunson gave lots of credit to the Madison Square Garden crowd.

“Being in this environment, there is no replica, there is nothing that comes close to it. And I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said, via Botte. “Everyone just locked in on our game plan and executed.”

  • Shooting guard Quentin Grimes exited Game 3 with a shoulder injury and did not return. There was no update on his availability for Sunday’s Game 4 at the time of this writing.
  • Guard Immanuel Quickley said he will use finishing second in Sixth Man of the Year voting as motivation. The award was won by Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon. “No doubt, when I was in my first year in the league, when I didn’t make that first-team rookie, that was something that fueled me,” Quickley said, via Botte. “So you always look for stuff to continue to fuel you and continue to help you get better.”


Guard Donovan Mitchell suggested the Cavaliers got away from what worked most of the season in their Game 3 loss to the Knicks.

“I think it’s somewhat natural to try to do the best thing for the team, and sometimes we end up making the right play, making the simple play and that’s the biggest thing. There were times that I feel like we got away from that and we’ll fix it, we’ll adjust,” Mitchell said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “But we shot like crap, man. We didn’t make a shot — open ones, contested ones, whatever it is.”

The Cavs became the only team this season (regular season or otherwise) to fail to hit 80 points. 

“We have to learn to just continue to trust each other and trust ourselves that we’ll make the right play,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “If we make the right play, we’ll get the results we want. We stopped trusting and doing the right thing and just tried to do a lot on our own. We played into their hands.”


Guard Trae Young said he and backcourt-mate Dejounte Murray meshed will in the Hawks’ Game 3 win over the Celtics — but it wasn’t the only reason Atlanta won.

“You don’t want to live in the moment too much. I mean, we won a game in the playoffs, it’s big,” Young said, via Coley Harvey of ESPN. “But we’ve had some really good games together. I don’t consider this our best game together. It’s definitely one of them, but it came at the right time and we needed it.”

Either way, coach Quin Snyder sure seemed impressed with the Young-Murray combo.

“Those two guys, over the course of the game, not just with the other guys on the team, but with one another, were connecting and pushing one another,” Snyder said, via Harvey. “You could tell [Young] found a rhythm [Friday night], and it was good to see that because he’s been working on it. He’s been watching [film] and trying to figure out how he can attack somebody.”

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