Blown Out in the Windy City — Nov 12, 2019: Chicago 120 NY 102

The Knicks train pulled into Chicago and was at the station through 3 quarters — NY led 89-87 with 11 minutes left in the game. And then Coby White got HOT and blew the Knicks train off its tracks. Chicago took a 109-89 lead with 5:51 left. In 5 minutes and 9 seconds, Chicago scored 22 straight points — led by 6 (six) Coby White 3-point shots.

Is It the Coaching?

Is it the coaching, or the players? Where was Frank Ntilikina and his suffocating defense and long arms with 7-foot wingspan? Well Ntilikina was out there — coach Fizdale put him in after White hit his third 3 — but Coby White was still getting free.

Here’s a rundown of White’s six 3’s in 5 minutes and 9 seconds:

  • White hit his 1st against Taj Gibson on a switch.
  • White hit his 2nd against Kevin Knox on a switch; Knox was up on him with an outreached arm.
  • White hit his 3rd against Allonzo Trier, who was up on him with an outreached arm.
  • White hit his 4th when Ntilikina — having been brought in to guard him — left him wide open — 25 feet away — to defend the basket on a penetration of Ryan Arcidiacono against Dennis Smith Jr — Fizdale still had the Knicks playing standard help defense instead of having Ntilikina glued to White. Ntilikina did contest a White jumper and forced him to miss in between White’s fourth and fifth 3’s.
  • White hit his 5th when Chicago pulled down an offensive rebound, Ntilikina ran out to guard Arcidiacono, who flipped it to White at the 3 and RJ Barrett was late getting out to defend.
  • White hit his 6th against Damyean Dotson, who was covering him but again inexplicably left him wide open at the 3 to help-defend a penetration near the basket.

Coby White is a rookie who was the #7 pick in last June’s draft. His coach at North Carolina, Roy Williams, was sitting in the audience and the tv cameras kept showing him after every White 3.  White was shooting .211 from 3 coming into the game and left with a .286 pct (he was 7-11 overall from 3).

Is It the Players?

Some feel it’s not the coach, it’s the players. Luther Clark said, “I think Fizz needs better players. He can lead the Knicks to the championship. He learned under Pat.”

The Knicks:

  1. Didn’t have Trae Young going crazy lighting up the scoreboard and the Knicks to a win.
  2. Didn’t have Luka Doncic controlling the game like he was a cheat code in an online game.
  3. Didn’t have Kevin Durant, or LeBron James, or James Harden, or Stephen Curry or any other top star who routinely carries their team to NBA wins, with a sidekick superstar and other stars.
  4. The Knicks did not have a point guard who penetrated and scored and opened up the defense and set the tempo and put the other team on their heels. Dennis Smith Jr played in the 4th, and looked fast and drove to the basket full court on one play, but missed the layup. He finished with 0 points on 0-3 shooting and a -22 in 14 minutes. Frank Ntilikina added 3 points (on 1-4) in 29 minutes. Allonzo Trier got only 5 minutes, took 1 shot, for 0 points. And they’re still missing Elfrid Payton — what was his injury again?
  5. The Knicks did not have Mitchell Robinson in this game — still out with concussion protocol. He might have blocked some of those Coby White 3’s.

The Knicks did have RJ Barrett — who had his first good game in a while: 21 points on 8-16 (2-4 from 3), 6 rebounds, 9 assists, and a +7. He was 3-6 from the line, his continued only weakness.

Etcetera

The Knicks are now 2-9 and facing Dallas at Madiscon Square Garden Thursday night. Should be fun!

The Knicks played well for 3 quarters before looking discombobulated in the 4th. Marcus Morris played well (22 pts on 6-17, 9 rebounds), Taj Gibson played well (17 points on 8-10). Julius Randle was still turning the ball over and forcing shots (17 points on 5-15, 7 rebounds). Knicks were outrebounded 46-38.

Zach LaVine had 25 points for the Bulls on 9-19 and Lauri Markkenan who has been under fire by Bulls fans for not playing well, had a pedestrian 13 points on 4-10 (1-5 from 3).

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401160791

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