The OG Anunoby-Precious Achiuwa combo is the Knicks' secret playoff weapon

Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

NEW YORK — DeMar DeRozan got what he wanted — away from OG Anunoby.

It’s overtime of the regular-season finale at Madison Square Garden — a game with zero implications for a Play-In Tournament-bound Chicago Bulls team and direct consequences for the East’s No. 2-seeded Knicks — and DeRozan, the NBA’s reigning Mr. Clutch, has the ball in his hands.

Anunoby, the Knicks’ premier defensive stopper, is a nightmare matchup for the Bulls’ crafty clutch scorer, so Chicago’s center Nikola Vucevic sets a screen and drags DeRozan’s man out of the picture.

Over moves Anunoby. Up steps Precious Achiuwa.

With the Bulls down one with 8.5 seconds left in overtime, the game’s result — and the Knicks’ playoff standing — rests on Achiuwa’s shoulders.

DeRozan attacks from the left wing. He goes between the legs then brings the ball back out to the three-point line to re-establish an advantageous position against a bigger, less athletic defender. He uses an in-and-out dribble with his right hand in an attempt to shift the defender.


Achiuwa never moves.

Then DeRozan goes for his signature: a right-to-left swipe-through driving to the rim. The move almost always draws a foul on a defender with happy hands.

On this day, Achiuwa’s hands are disciplined: He holds them both high into the air and keeps his body vertical while contesting DeRozan’s floater attempt. Donte DiVincenzo also leaves his man to help contest the Bulls star’s game-winning attempt.

The would-be go-ahead shot bounces off front iron into Knicks possession.


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