3 reasons the New York Knicks were able to beat the Sixers in a dogfight

The New York Knicks got the Game 1 victory behind a couple of unsung heroes with Jalen Brunson struggling from the floor.
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game One
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game One / Elsa/GettyImages

Despite a poor performance from Jalen Brunson, the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers,109-104 in Game 1 of their first-round series. The Knicks struggled mightily in the first quarter of the series as the franchise just couldn't seem to find the bottom of the net. New York got a bit of a break when unfortunately Joel Embiid went out with an injury that took him out for part of the second quarter.

Embiid came back in the third quarter and was able to lead the Sixers back into this game. Despite an offensive quarter that wasn't extremely great by New York, the Knicks were able to regain the lead and take the win behind some very amazing defense in the fourth quarter. Before both franchises turn to game two of this series, let's examine three major reasons why the Knicks won this game.

3. Mitchell Robinson

While Embiid clearly seemed hobbled and his offensive output was quite simply not incredible, Mitchell Robinson's defensive play allowed the Knicks to get by in the fourth quarter of this game. New York wasn't playing well on the offensive end of the floor in the fourth quarter of this game and needed to win with sound defensive play.

Even though Embiid still got his, the Knicks had enough stops from Robinson in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Clearly, the Garden was aware of his play and as Adam Aaronson of the Philly Voice noted, the crowd gave him a standing ovation during the final stretch of the game.

2. Josh Hart

Josh Hart didn't have a perfect game for all four quarter but the veteran role player was able to excel in the second half of this game. Hart was a major reason why the Knicks were able to keep the flame at least lit when the offense struggled. He was also a huge reason the Knicks were able to get the win as the former Villanova man hit two key threes that helped the franchise win a game that was clearly a bit of a dogfight.

True to the season that he has had so far, Hart only sat for six minutes of the entire game. The guard/forward was able to end up with 22 points on a not-so-bad 41 percent from the field. His three-point shooting seemed off for the entire game until the last minutes of the fourth where he was able to end up hitting two threes that allowed him to 50 percent from the three-point arc for the entire game.

To be completely honest, Jalen Brunson just didn't seem to have his offensive stroke during this game. Hart was a veteran that stepped up and allowed New York to make up for their star performance.

1. Deuce McBride

The best offensive player for the New York Knicks in this game was Deuce McBride, no debate needed. McBride was able to step up for Brunson who didn't shoot well during this game. The backup guard shot an amazing 58 percent from the floor while getting an impressive 21 points for the squad. Yes, McBride has been a hidden gem for the Knicks this season.

Still, McBride kinda bailing out the rest of this squad to a win is not something that was expected going into this series. At times during this game, New York just wasn't able to score. McBride was able to step up and make crucial shots to save this offense from a loss. While Brunson will likely be back to his MVP candidate self next game, McBride was the biggest reason they took Game 1.

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