Knicks Making Losing an “Art Form” — March 10, 2019: Minnesota 103 NY 92

Knicks played well and lost by about 10 — this time 103-92. They’ve made this an art form.

  • The day before they lost 102-94 to Sacramento.
  • Before that 107-96 to Phoenix.
  • Before that 115-108 to Sacramento.
  • Before that a blowout loss to LA Clippers, but the 5 games before that — all lost by about 10 points.

Minnesota did not look like they had more talent than the Knicks on the court, especially with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins out — but they looked like the better team. Better coached. Their coach is Ryan Saunders — son of “the great Flip Saunders”. The MSG analysts said Knicks coach David Fizdale tried to hire Ryan Sanders as an assistant coach in Memphis, but it never went through.

The Knick Guards

In this game, Damyean Dotson and Allonzo Trier shot lights out in the backcourt. Dotson 10-19 for 26 pts in 41 minutes; Trier 5-11 (4-5 from 3) for 15 points in 24 minutes. On one play, Trier grabbed the defensive rebound, raced full court then did a stutterstep stop go stop go layup in traffic and got the foul — terrific play! After the game Wally Sczerbiak and Alan Hahn agreed that Trier is going to find a home in the NBA as an excellent instant offense off the bench player. However to my reckoning — he looks like a starting NBA shooting guard who may become an All Star someday.

Dennis Smith Jr overall played well but made some poor decisions on passes. He finisheed with 6-15 13 pts 4 assists. Emmanuel Mudiay played poorly — mistakes and 2-7 for 4 pts.

Skinny Shaq

Mitchell Robinson dominated as usual — 4-5 for 8 pts, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks in 33 minutes. On one play, Dennis Smith Jr made a beautiful penetration and behind the back pass to Robinson who made the shot and got the foul.

The Knock on Knicks Knox

Kevin Knox was good and bad as usual. In this game mostly good (5-11, 13 pts, 5 rebounds, 4 assists in 27 minutes). He throws down terrific plays which show he can be a star in the NBA; then follows with terrible plays which make you scratch your head and say he needs to get better. He showed off his beautiful, high-arching, accurate 3, and on one play used his loooong arms to intercept a pass in the lane then drive fullcourt to make a tough layup in traffic. On another play, he botched an inside layup twice and lost the ball out of bounds.

Jordan Old Overnight?

In this game DeAndre Jordan looked like he got old overnight. He missed several slam attempts — couldn’t get the height on his jump, and opponents drove at him in the lane regularly. He blocked one shot but allowed a number of easy inside scores. He had 2 points on 1-8 shooting in 15 minutes; 5 rebounds. He mostly looked terrible.

Other Knicks

Noah Vonleh was back from injury and started (3-4, 8 pts 6 rebounds in 28 min), Lance Thomas had 13 minutes as first man off the bench; John Jenkins played 10 minutes, and Luke Kornet and Henry Ellenson did not play.

For Minnesota

Taj Gibson (11-15 for 25 pts) and Jeff Teague (8-18 20 pts, 10 assists) killed the Knicks all night. It was like a 2-man team. Three if you count Keita Bates-Diop (7-12 for 18 pts) who was also good. Four if you count Dario Saric (5-11, 11 pts). Five if you count Tyus Jones (5-10, 13 pts) but who’s counting.

Bottom line Knicks looked like they had more talented players than Minnesota — especially with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins out — but Minnesota was the better coached team.

The boxscore: 

http://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401071671

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