The New York Knicks struggled through the first two quarters of their Game 2 playoff matchup with the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden Wednesday evening.
Then, something clicked for the long-downtrodden team. NBA’s Most Improved Player, Julius Randle, started getting things going in the third quarter. He was joined by former NBA MVP Derrick Rose and rookie Obi Toppin in igniting third-quarter run and a huge comeback win for the Knicks.
The backdrop here is just the second NBA Playoff game the Knicks have played at home since 2013. With fans returning to The Garden after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy was all too real. That’s especially true after this dunk by Toppin.
This felt like Oracle Arena in Oakland, Circa 2015-16. It was something else. Those watching the game at home, Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James included, noticed just how awesome the environment was at Madison Square Garden.
Worlds certainly converged here. After pretty much a calendar year without fans attending NBA games, any sort of exuberance from the audience would seem to be much more notable than before the pandemic.
With that said, those on hand watching the Knicks even their first-round series against the Hawks at one did their part. That included a continuation of taunting Hawks guard Trae Young.
Yeah, having fans back during the 2021 NBA Playoffs has been absolutely amazing. Let’s keep it rolling.