Game Log: Feb 22, 2019: Minnesota 115 Knicks 104

Another day another loss. The start of the “second half” of the season — aka the 24 games after the All Star break — the final “quarter” of the season. The Knicks need to go something like 5-19 to assure themselves of a top 3 position in the draft lottery.

The Game

Karl-Anthony Towns was in a car accident the day before and missed his first game as a Minnesota Timberwolve as he was on concussion watch. Headlines after the game said that Minnesota had won despite the fact that Towns had missed his first game ever. This made the Knick fan chuckle — I mean we were going to lose no matter who Minnesota put out there.

Knicks stayed around 10-12 points behind the whole game, made a run in the 4th to close within 8 — but then Jeff Teague put some sneaky moves on — back to back buckets to put the Knicks back to 12 behind with like 5 minutes left and it was over. Just before that, Walt Frazier said Teague used to be one of his favorite players; so slippery and smooth. Frazier always with the accidental honesty — aka Teague not the player he once was, has been criticized in Minny.

For the Knicks

Allonzo Trier looked great this game. He is back. Penetrating the defense like a hot knife thru butter so fun to watch. And earnestly playing an aggressive D too. Allonzo was 7-11 (1-1 from 3, 5-5 from free throw line) for 20 points.

Kevin Knox has a terrific 3-pt jumpshot — very pretty and high arcing and accurate — and he shoots quick off the pass. He will shoot over 40 % from 3 some day & possibly for seasons to come.

Knox needs to learn how to make 50 % of layups however. He has the most awkward drives to the basket I’ve ever seen a supposed offensive scoring big man ever do. He also needs to get better at defense and passing, and play with a little higher motor. If so he’ll be very good. Knox was 5-14 (3-7 from 3 and 5-5 from the free throw line) for 18 pts.

The Start

This game started off with Headband Damyean Dotson on FIRE — scoring the Knicks first 11 points! He kept hitting 3’s then hit a 4 (getting fouled and hitting the free throw). The Knicks were up 25-21 and Dotson had 18 of the Knicks points.

After that 1st quarter he cooled off (as usual) and finished with 20 pts (7-16, 5-9 from 3).

Also in the 1st quarter, Dennis Smith Jr made a massive slam dunk on the break that would’ve won the Slam Dunk contest (just finished last weekend where he finished second). Smith had 7 points in only 22 minutes.

Emmanuel Mudiay got 26 minutes. Knicks fans on Twitter were pissed he got so much playing time down the stretch over Smith Jr. Other fans pointed out the tank was on. Coach Fizdale said he thought Mudiay and Trier were rolling together and he figured he’d roll the dice with Mudiay because he was passing well. Mudiay finished with 15 points on 6-16, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.

Mitchell Robinson only got 13 minutes due to 4 fouls; he was 0-2 for 0 pts, but had 3 blocks.

It has taken him the age of 30 to do it — but DeAndre Jordan has become a good free throw shooter. Now shooting .720 this year after .682 the last two years — earlier in career was .380 from free throw line. Jordan had 16 pts (5-8 from floor, 6-8 from free throw line) and 19 rebounds, 2 blocks. Luke Kornet had bad shooting night — 0-4 for 0 points and a -17.

Mario Hezonja and Frank Ntilikina are still out with injuries. Kadeem Allen was sent back to the G League for now.

For Minnesota

Andrew Wiggins made some terrific plays — blocked Knox and hit some big momentum-changing 3’s — he finished with 5-16 for 17 p0ints. Jeff Teague also was instrumental as mentioned above; he had 12 pts (5-11). Derrick Rose played well — Derrick Rose 20 pts (6-14, 8-8 from free throw line in 23 minutes).

Anthony Tolliver was a surprise — thought he retired back in the 1980’s (that was Fred Tolliver) — he played well and had 16 pts (5-9 in 20 minutes). Taj Gibson had 19 pts (9-15), Dario Saric had 13 pts (4-7),  and Josh Okogie started for Minnesota and had 4 pts.

The boxscore:

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