The Knicks ended the season with a MASSIVE THUD, losing by 40 most of night to Detroit at the Garden — a game where the Knicks vowed to give Detroit a fight since they needed to win to get into the playoffs, and Charlotte was looking on rooting for the Knicks. And just like that one started questioning coach David Fizdale again.
Charlotte was Rooting for the Knicks
The night before, Dennis Smith Jr, when asked about the Detroit game, said “We’re going to keep their ass out”. But before the game it was announced Smith Jr would not be playing due to his bad back.
.@Dennis1SmithJr has a message to the Pistons: don't expect an easy game tomorrow.
— MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) April 10, 2019
Before the game, the Charlotte Hornets posted this on twitter:
Charlotte is rooting HARD for a Knicks W tonight against the Pistons. 😂
— theScore (@theScore) April 10, 2019
It was also reported that Hornets coach James Borrego played for and coached with Knicks coach David Fizdale at the University of San Diego, so Fizdale would make sure his Knicks tried to beat Detroit.
So with that incentive, it was surprising to see the Knicks show no fight whatsoever and get blown off the court on Fan Appreciation night at Madison Square Garden. They played no team defense and didn’t look like much of a team at all.
Mitchell Robinson was a “Skinny Shaq” slam-dunk highlight show in the first half. It was alley oop slam after alley oop slam. He finished with 11 pts on 5-6 shooting (all slams) but only played 23 minutes due to 4 fouls — and didn’t block a shot, ending his consecutive game 2-blocks-or-more streak.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 11, 2019
On the other end of the court, Andre Drummond powered his way to 20 points on 10-15 and 18 rebounds. DeAndre Jordan did not suit up for the game so couldn’t come in to help. Guess Fizdale wasn’t THAT intent on beating Detroit.
Luke Kornet couldn’t stop Drummond — he had 6 points (on 2-9 shooting) and 2 rebounds in 28 minutes. The Knicks left the job mostly to Isaiah Hicks (11 points) and Henry Ellenson (12 pts). If I were Charlotte I’d be like WTF?
John Jenkins played well — 16 points on 6-9. He’s a SHOOTER. Some believe the Knicks signed him to a one year contract to act as contract fodder in a coming deal for Anthony Davis (where Knicks need to accumulate salaries to send to Memphis to match Davis’ salary). Kadeem Allen (13 pts on 3-10) was brought in to lead the offense in the second half — he had a decent game — very aggressive and penetrating as usual. Billy Garrett Jr played ok.
The Low Lights
Mario Hezonja lost his slippers. He started at point and was horrible — 21 minutes, 0 points (0-3), 6 turnovers and a -21. Kevin Knox shot poorly — 3-12 (o-6 from 3) for 9 points with 7 rebounds. Damyean Dotson with another poor shooting game (2-8).
Lance Thomas suited but didn’t play — again — did Fizdale really care about this game?
Detroit is in the playoffs with the win. Besides Drummond’s heroics, Reggie Jackson looked quick and fast and hit his jumper; Knick reject Langston Galloway played 32 important minutes and looked good; Jose Calderon played too. Detroit emptied their bench to get everyone playing time as they prepare for the playoffs — as this game was over in the 2nd quarter: Bruce Brown, Zaza Pachulia, Thon Maker, Jon Leuer, Ish Smith, Glenn Robinson III, Luke Kennard, and Khyri Thomas all got minutes.