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Knicks Preseason Win vs. Pistons: 3 Realistic, Reasonable Takeaways

In some ways, the New York Knicks' preseason debut couldn't have gone better, but there's still a lot to work on.

The New York Knicks were more than happy to rev their engines against the Detroit Pistons in their 2022 preseason opener, leading wire-to-wire in what became a 117-96 victory. 

For all their flaws, the Knicks (1-0) appear to have mastered the art of winnng in the early fall, with Tuesday's triumph being their seventh consecutive preseason win after going four-for-four last year. The streak will be next placed on the line come Friday night at home against the Indiana Pacers (7:30 p.m. ET, MSG).

What are some of the reasonable, realistic that fans and observers can take away from a game like that? 

Barrett, Brunson Cash In

Any value the NBA preseason has left can benefit a team like the Knicks, a group operating with a lot of new (or in, say, Derrick Rose's case, remodeled) pieces. The primary gain was, of course, Jalen Brunson, who will have to live up to the $104 million contract primarily earned through a postseason breakout.

To that end, Brunson perhaps gave the Knicks the gift he could by getting off to a good start. Any sign of distress would've provided ammunition for the endless stream of debate shows that thrive on the dopamine of New York struggles, no matter how trivial. Brunson instead sank 7-of-9 from the field and paced the Knicks' hot start by scoring six of their first 11 points. He ended the night with 16 over 20 minutes, taking a seat when the Knicks started to pull away.

"It’s a preseason game, but it’s a game nonetheless, and I was preparing myself as if it was a real game," Brunson said, per the New York Post. "(I'm) happy we started off the preseason right with a win, taking a step in the right direction, but still a lot of things we can improve on. I’d rather learn from a win than learn from a loss, so just continue to get better.”

It was overall a solid night for the Knicks' nine-figure brotherhood: RJ Barrett led the team in scoring with 21 points while Julius Randle posted 15 with six rebounds, the latter being the highest amongst the starters. 

Seeing Reddish

It was perhaps only natural that Cam Reddish, his brief New York career medically cursed coming in, fell victim to the plethora of injuries the Knicks have endured at the two-spot. 

Already without Quentin Grimes and Svi Mykhailiuk and with Rose limited, Reddish got an early opportunity to make a rotational case. Armed with a new number (0), Reddish struggled from the field (1-of-6) but his defense and collaboration with collegiate teammate Barrett were quite promising over 11 minutes of action. 

Alas, even the powers that be seemed to have it out for Reddish: he reportedly tripped over a referee and sustained an ankle injury that kept him out of the second half, one that could've given him some prime opportunities as the relative star attraction while the Knicks emptied their bench. 

Reddish will likely be considered a day-to-day case, but a player in his position ... one desperate to prove his worth to a seemingly disbelieving coaching staff ... can't afford to lose any preseason games. Time will tell if he's ready by Friday but the five days off before the Knicks go to Indiana should do him some good. 

With the two mostly depleted and starter Evan Fournier having a little trouble on defense, Miles McBride and Immanuel Quickley respectively took advantage to the tune of six steals and 13 points.

Bench Impress

McBride and Quickley headlined a solid effort from the Knicks' reserves. 

Obi Toppin's outside shooting might've left something to be desired but he brought the crowd to its feet with a big windmill dunk off a fastbreak feed from McBride. Post newcomer Isaiah Hartenstein went 3-of-5 from the field and took down a team-best seven boards. Fringe candidates Ryan Arcidiacono (sinking both attempts from the field) and Jalen Harris (four rebounds and three trips to the foul line) took advantage of late garbage time.

It's yet another grain of salt on the preseason pile, but it was certainly an inspiring effort for a team that ranked 23rd in bench scoring last season. 

"I think last year I was on a really good bench ... I think it’s probably on the same level as that, probably even more playmaking in this unit than even with the Clippers," Hartenstein told the New York Daily News, comparing the reserve unit he worked with in Los Angeles last season. “I think it could be one of the best benches in the league, to be honest.” 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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