Knicks' new additions continue to come up huge in the NBA playoffs

New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

It truly “takes a village” to win in the NBA Playoffs, and the New York Knicks are learning that. The Knicks have a 3-2 series lead over the Philadelphia 76ers. Jalen Brunson’s performance has led the way, but the play of OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa should not go unnoticed.

The Knicks traded for the former Raptors in December, and both players have been pivotal thus far in the postseason. Anunoby posted 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the Knicks’ 97-92 Game 4 win over the Sixers and 17 points and 6 rebounds in Game 5.

He provided a great deal of energy on both ends along with his signature defensive prowess. His job was made harder considering he defended reigning MVP Joel Embiid at multiple points during the playoff games.

“Going into the series, we thought this could be a possibility,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told the New York Post. “We probably were going to use it more in a different situation. But the situation we were in, with Mitch [Robinson] being out, Isaiah [Hartenstein] in foul trouble and then I wanted to get a look at it anyway and he wanted to do it, so we got a look at it.”

Achiuwa was certainly productive too. With Robinson out and Hartenstein in foul trouble, he was able to provide a defensive presence off the bench in Game 4. The former first round pick was plus 11 in 20 minutes of action, adding one point, seven rounds, and four blocks. In Game 5, he chipped in 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.

The New York Knicks' new additions continue to come up huge.

“That’s part of being a professional. I pride myself in being a professional, coming in and doing what I have to do. And just when the opportunity comes around, taking advantage of it and play to the best of my abilities.” Achiuwa told the New York Post.

“To me, that’s what it comes down to, just continue being professional. Things happen in this league, ups and downs, and whatnot, and I understand things I can contribute to the team. I think I’ve done that at a really high level in the season, and I understand the level I’m capable of playing at.”

Some Knicks fans were initially skeptical when the team traded RJ Barrett and Imanuel Quickley for Anunoby and Achiuwa, but the pair has embraced the culture that Thibodeau, Brunson, and others have cultivated in New York. Their skillset has been important against Philadelphia and may only become more necessary against high-octane teams like the Pacers, Bucks, and Celtics.