The ovation for Obi Toppin’s best sequence yet, a block and an alley-oop dunk, was especially chilling.

Trae Young, who had another great offensive game, was the victim of “Trae Is Balding” chants at the free throw line.

And after the game, fans flooded the streets and literally shut down the area surrounding Madison Square Garden.

At one point, the Blue and Orange collective even chanted, “We Want Brooklyn,” whom they’d have to get to the Eastern Conference Finals to see, which means getting by Atlanta, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers, barring a miraculous Washington Wizards run.

One Brooklyn Nets fan did show up in a Kevin Durant jersey, which also prompted “Fuck KD” chants from the many Knicks fans.


It’s fun, it’s dangerous, and it’s also somewhat irresponsible given we’re still in a pandemic, although, evidently most of the fans showing to the arena (reportedly around 90 percent) are vaccinated, at least. And even as the two teams travel to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4, expect a healthy amount of New Yorkers down south to infiltrate the State Farm Arena.


As for the game itself, the Knicks outscored the Hawks 57-37 in the second half, limiting the Hawks to 37/27/82 shooting splits as a team. Outside of Young’s 30 points and seven assists on 11-of-20 from the floor, the Hawks shot 20-of-64. Julius Randle scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, and the Knicks were led offensively by Derrick Rose, who dropped in 26 points off the bench. They themselves only had shooting splits of 38/36/74, but as we’ve seen in their regular-season encounters, as well as last night, the grind-it-out almost 90s style of Knicks basketball favors them, even if Young gets going.

Nate McMillan has some adjustments he needs to make in order for them not to be dragged through the mud again. Keeping John Collins, who logged five fouls in 15 minutes and finished with zero points and two rebounds, out of foul trouble is a start.