The Knicks lost a tough one on the road 113-109 to the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks played poor most of the night, but Allonzo Trier kept them in the game off of the bench shooting 6-7 from the field and 7-11 from the line, finishing the game with 22 points. Interestingly enough, the Knicks best run of the night was with both Trier and Payton (who played well) on the bench and RJ Barrett running the point. Barrett played fantastic finishing with a solid 16 points along with playing tough defense on Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie down the stretch. Irving finished the game with 26 points including the Nets’ 2 last field goals; a jumper to cut the Knicks’ lead to 1 and a clutch 3 to take the lead with 22.4 seconds remaining. This was after the Knicks went on a 15-2 run sparked by 3 long balls via Wayne Ellington. Unfortunately the Knicks failed to score in the last three and a half minutes with their night ending on a Julius Randle turnover in the post down by 2 with a chance to tie or win the game. Randle had a terrible night for the Knicks shooting 5-15 from the field with 6 turnovers and 5 fouls. Randle looked uncomfortable all night and couldn’t find his jump shot, which would’ve been a weapon due to Deandre Jordan and other Nets bigs daring him to shoot. Marcus Morris was also a disappointment shooting 3-9, although he did give good minutes down the stretch. Mitchell Robinson gave decent minutes (6 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals) but was relegated to the bench due to foul trouble for most of the game. Kevin Knox was a bright spot for the Knicks going 4-4 from the 3 point line and finishing a really tough layup over multiple Nets defenders to keep the Knicks within striking distance early in the 4th Quarter.
Why The Knicks Lost
The Knicks lost this game due to them shooting 16-28 (57.1%) from the line, turning the ball over 26 times, and committing 31 fouls. The Nets hurt them from deep in the 1st half, but the Knicks contested the 3 point line much better in the 2nd half. The craziest stat of this game is the Knicks shot 17-25 (68%) from 3 while shooting 21 for 56 (37.5%) from the field inside the 3 point line. The Knicks shot BETTER from 3, than they did from inside the 3 point line and the foul line! That’s unreal. I can’t imagine that has happened many times in the NBA’s existence.
The Knicks have shown in both of their games thus far, that they can take hits, they can fight, and different guys can step up. However, they haven’t shown that they can dig deep and win a game down the stretch. These Knicks have the talent to start winning games and they are going to need to play better down the stretch, especially on offense, if they want to hold onto late leads and defeat better teams in the league. It will be interesting to see how much run RJ gets at point and if Smith Jr. or Ntilikina get any run. I would expect Trier to start getting consistent time off of the bench, unless Fizdale decides to go back to a starting guard combo with RJ at the 1 and Trier at the 2. The Knicks will play their next game at home against the Boston Celtics Saturday night at 7:30pm Eastern Time.