Donte DiVincenzo


Donte DiVincenzo


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Donte DiVincenzo reacts during Game 6 against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 2.

Ahead of Game 6, there were questions about Donte DiVincenzo‘s place in the New York Knicks‘ starting lineup. He put them all to rest with his performance in the elimination win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

DiVincenzo played all 48 minutes and finished with 23 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals on 61-percent true shooting.

After averaging 9.8 points on a 33/30/89 shooting split in the first five games, he broke out of his slump when it mattered most.

DiVincenzo told reporters postgame that it was his defense that expedited the offense.

“Honestly, it had nothing to do with shooting. I got myself going early in the game guarding Maxey,” DiVincenzo told the New York Post on May 3. “We made that adjustment and I was locked in ready to go. Having a tough matchup like that, you have to be locked in from the very beginning.”

It was an adjustment made for Game 6, head coach Tom Thibodeau having him guard Tyrese Maxey out of the gate.

“So I think that got me going early,” DiVincenzo continued. “And you know when you’re playing with unselfish guys, you’re gonna get open looks, so I’m never worried about making or missing shots. I think for me it was to be locked in on the defensive end, and that got me going.”

Count it as one that worked out in the Knicks’ favor. The series is over and they’re bound for a semifinals matchup with the Indiana Pacers.


Maxey Disappears in Game 6

Following a 46-point outing in Game 5, Tyrese Maxey had his worst scoring outing of the series in Game 6.

Donte DiVincenzo’s defense helped hold him to 17 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the field and 1-of-6 from three.

Thibodeau applauded his work on Maxey postgame.

“Donte, you can’t say enough about his all-around play, the shotmaking, hustle, defense,” Thibodeau told the New York Post on May 3. “Maxey is a load to deal with, pick and rolls, transition, everything. When he gets off the ball, he doesn’t stop moving and you have to keep moving with him. I thought Donte’s effort was terrific.”

According to NBA.com, in one-on-one situations, Divincenzo held Maxey to 8-of-21 shooting, blocked 3 of his shots, and forced 3 turnovers over the six-game series.

Getting your best players involved will always be a winning strategy in basketball.

It’s how Donte DiVincenzo snapped his shooting slump, and how the New York Knicks won their series over the 76ers.

Jalen Brunson helped too.


Brunson Makes History in Game 6

Brunson finished Game 6 with 41 points and 12 assists, his third-straight game with 40 or more points. After a tough first two games, he’s found his footing and his shot.

According to “First Things First” host Nick Wright, New York’s point guard became just the fifth player in NBA history to average 40 or more points over any four-game span in the postseason.

Jalen Brunson just became the 5th player in NBA playoff history, joining Westbrook, LeBron, Kareem & Giannis, to average a 40 point double-double over any 4 game stretch.

Truly historic tear he’s been on this past week.

That’s not all.

Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tweets that Brunson is the first player since Michael Jordan to post 39 or more points in four consecutive playoff games.

It was an incredible performance in the final game of an absolute dogfight of a series.

Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson, and the New York Knicks will look to keep their feet on the gas with the Indiana Pacers awaiting them in the semifinals. Game 1 is May 6.

Collin Loring covers the NBA and MLB for Heavy.com, where he has been a contributor since 2021. His sports coverage has also been featured at FanSided, Elite Sports NY and The Strickland. More about Collin Loring





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