After holding summertime target Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers to a season-low 81 points in Sunday’s win at the Garden, the Knicks now will attempt to shut down another player they could have traded for in the offseason, Dejounte Murray.
The 2022 All-Star guard, who was obtained by Atlanta from the Spurs in June, already torched the Knicks for 36 points, nine assists and five steals at the Garden on Nov. 2.
“I think it’s his all-around play,” Tom Thibodeau said of Murray ahead of Wednesday’s home game against the Hawks. “Obviously, he’s grown quite a bit over the last few years. He’s added the shooting piece to it, but he’s long, athletic and a terrific defender. And so he gives them the steal piece of it. He can turn you over and that puts him in the open floor, and creates easy buckets for them.
“And the versatility, the ability to play both on the ball and off the ball, I think he and Trae Young complement each other really well. So I think he’s added a lot to their team.”
AJ Griffin was a player under consideration for the Knicks before they traded the 13th-overall pick on draft night to entice the Pistons to take on Kemba Walker’s contract to clear space for the signing of Jalen Brunson in free agency.
Griffin, the Archbishop Stepinac product (White Plains) and former Duke forward, was selected with the No. 16 pick of the first round by the Hawks. He is averaging 9.7 points and shooting 37.6 percent from 3-point range in 20 games as a rookie for Atlanta (13-11).
“I think AJ Griffin has added a lot to their team. He’s an elite shooter. [He] has really played well for them,” Thibodeau said. “You know, he was on the [Knicks’ draft] board. I think we looked at a number of players that we felt were good. You look at all the possibilities. I thought we were very thorough in our approach, and we decided on the path we went down and felt good about it.”
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