The surprising reason the Knicks may be destined for a deep playoff run

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Two
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Two / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

After a wild ending to a fantastic game, the New York Knicks find themselves up 2-0 in the series heading to Philadelphia. They have had tremendous support from their role players who have certainly stepped up in the absence of Julius Randle.

In the Knicks case, it has not been so much about the star power but rather it has been focused soley on the chemistry that the roster has on and off the court. However, the underlying question is how have the Knicks proved that they can make it far in this go-round of the NBA Playoffs?

The Knicks have plenty of balance

The amount of pressure is not displayed to only one person on the Knicks roster. Outsiders would mainly assume that with how the roster is constructed, if Jalen Brunson does not have a good night, neither will the Knicks. In both games of this series, that obviously has not been the case. A few players that have caught the attention of many are Miles McBride, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo.

Despite not getting a ton of playing time in the regular season, Miles McBride has really come into his own. He has had a major impact in both wins and has looked extremely comfortable shooting the ball in high-pressure situations. In game one, McBride shot an outstanding 7-12 from the field while being able to rack up five threes on seven attempts and a total of 21 points as well. Not to mention that he had a +/- of 37, which was the best in franchise history in a postseason game. 

In game two, his production slowed down a bit but McBride still provided a spark for the team when they needed it the most. His two big plays of the night came in the fourth quarter. The first was by ripping the ball away from Tyrese Maxey and putting two points on the board with a floater. The second was his and-1 jump over Kellu Oubre Jr. to extend the Knicks' lead to seven points.

Besides McBride, Josh Hart has been putting in the work and taking his game to the next level. Hart is not classified as a three-point shooter and has only averaged one three per game this season. Now, with that being said, he has completely tossed that statistic aside by totaling eight threes across both games.

Another statistic to appreciate when it comes to Hart's game is his rebounding on the defensive end. Hart has been an absolute pest, grabbing 9 defensive rebounds in Game 1 and 11 in Game 2. If we take a look at his total rebounds across the two games, that number comes out to a whopping 28 rebounds, which has dramatically helped this team succeed in this first round.

Lastly, Donte DiVincenzo's performance in game two needs to be talked about because it was his shooting that gave the Knicks the lead late in the game that they would hold onto until the very end. DiVincenzo shot a solid 5-10 from the field while totaling four threes and racking up a total of 19 points to cap off his night. Another key thing to note is that he had a spectacular +/- of 11. It was not as good as McBride's in game one but it was still tremendous.

The Knicks have a desire to win.

Now, if all of these factors remain the same and these players continue to play a significant role throughout the entirety of the playoffs, it could make the Knicks a dangerous team to face. A key thing to remember is the fact that the Knicks obtained these two wins when Jalen Brunson wasn't at his very best.

Brunson shot 16-55 across both games. However, he still managed to toss up at least 20+ points on both nights. This Knicks team has heart and guts. With everything laid out on the table, if they continue to leave everything they have on the court nightly and refuse to quit when they are being counted out, they are going to have no problem moving onward in their current postseason run.