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Knicks feeling the NBA’s emphasis on travel calls

New York Post
New York Post
 2022-12-06

The Knicks will have to adjust — or, in this case, pivot.

The 14 travels and carries called during their victory over the Cavaliers on Sunday were the most in an NBA game in the past 25 years, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Of the 14 whistles, eight were blown against the Knicks.

A league source said there has not been a recent memo issued to begin a crackdown against travels, but players taking an extra step — or dragging or switching a pivot foot — has been a point of emphasis this season.

“The goal of [points of emphasis] are not to call more of anything. It’s to focus on areas we feel haven’t been called as accurately as we would like,” the league source said. “Then throughout the year, we reinforce those points to ensure we are calling accurately.”

Through Saturday, according to the league, travel calls were up from 1.3 per game last season to 2.9 per game this season.

“I’ve never seen that in my life,” Julius Randle said Sunday, after the league’s focus climaxed with a game undercut by violations .

“I want to look at the film, and I think it’s good for the most part,” said coach Tom Thibodeau, who received a technical for arguing what would have been an additional traveling violation against Cavs guard Darius Garland. “Except — I think you have to be consistent in the way in which you call it. If it’s tight for one team, it’s got to be tight for the other team.”

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RJ Barrett was whistled for three travels against the Cavaliers.
USA TODAY Sports

RJ Barrett was whistled for three walking violations . Quentin Grimes was issued two, while Immanuel Quickley, Isaiah Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson each walked once.

“We’re going to have to adjust,” Jalen Brunson said of the Knicks, who will host the Hawks on Wednesday.

Brunson said the Knicks communicated more during the win Sunday, which was a positive development.

“We have to talk every single time,” the point guard said. “I think for us, it’s a little thing that can go a long way. No one purposely is trying to not say anything. We’re all running around, we’re all trying to cover for each other, but at the same time know where our man is.

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Tom Thibodeau is still waiting to see film on the Knicks finish against the Cavs.
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

“I feel like if we continue to talk more, we’ll be able to help each other more. It’s just a work in progress.”

The Westchester Knicks traded Feron Hunt to the Birmingham Squadron, an affiliate of the Pelicans, for guard Justin Wright-Foreman. Wright-Foreman, a 25-year-old Queens native, starred at Hofstra.

Hunt, a forward who had been on a two-way deal with the Knicks, was waived last Tuesday.

The Knicks assigned Jericho Sims, Svi Mykhailiuk and Miles McBride to Westchester, with the trio available for Monday’s game against Capital City.

— Additional reporting by Zach Braziller

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