Couldn’t Shoot Straight — Dec 20, 2019: Miami 129 NY 114

The Knicks had a horrific shooting night — and fell behind by as many as 34 points in this Friday night rout in Miami. At one point the Knicks were 1-12 from 3 while Miami was 7-16, with the Knicks down 60-41. At another point the Knicks were 2-23 from 3.

Finally in the 3rd and 4th quarter, Bobby Portis — whom the Knicks acquired for his outside shooting (he shot 40% from 3 last year) — took over, and carried the Knicks back into respectability. The Knicks were 18 points back with 9 minutes left, but never got closer than the final 15-point margin.

Portis finished 12-17 (4-7 from 3) for 30 points and a +11. You couldn’t blame Kevin Knox for this either — he had a decent shooting night 4-10 (2-5 from 3) for 11 pts and a +13. And Mitch Robinson had a fine night inside: 8-9 (2-2 from free throw line) for 18 pts.

Miami’s Passing and Defense

Miami was excellent at passing the basketball, and hitting their 3’s, and playing a good defense. They clogged up the lane and put pressure on the Knicks — so the Knicks were perhaps rushing their 3’s a little bit. But the Knicks could’ve been in this game if they hit their jumpers; they weren’t hounded on them — they were mostly missed open jumpers.

The Knicks ended up shooting 10-34 from 3 which is very misleading — most of that came from Portis and Knox in the 4th quarter. Miami was 18-38 from 3.


Cu Cu Ca Choo Mr Robinson

Duncan Robinson, a slender 6’7 small forward out of Michigan, killed the Knicks. He seemed to always get freed open at the 3, and sank 3 after 3. He finished 6-10 — all his shots were 3’s — for 18 points.

Miami’s passing led to a slam dunk show by Derrick Jones Jr (5-6 for 14 pts). And just when the Knicks were clawing back into the game in the 4th, Goran Dragic was out there hitting momentum-killer 3’s — he finished with 6-12 (4-9 from 3) for 18 pts. Bam Adebayo, Miami’s impressive young center, was … impressive: 6-9 for 20 pts, 8 rebounds and very active.

Battle of Rookie Guards

In the battle of rookies, Kendrick Nunn scored 15 (6-13, 2-7 from 3) while RJ Barrett was one of the Knicks who couldn’t shoot straight — Barrett was 1-10 (0-3 from 3) for 2 points and a -24 — albiet Barrett made a couple of strong moves to the basket where the ball rolled in and out.


There was an Allonzo Trier sighting in the 4th quarter. He played 10 minutes and had 2 pts (on free throws) and a +8. Dennis Smith Jr was 3-7 (1-3 from 3) for 7 points in 15 minutes and a +10. Both good plus/minus figures were due to being on the court in the 4th quarter, as was Frank Ntilikina (1-3 for 3 pts and a -9). Ntilikina started the game and did not provide the Knicks offense the spark necessary against Miami’s clogging defense, as Miami jumped out to an early double-digit lead. The Ntilikina-Julius Randle tandem did not look good on two consecutive possessions late in the 1st quarter — Ntilikina telegraphed a pass to Randle that was intercepted, and on the next play, Randle got the ball in the paint and looked for Ntilikina who ran off to the middle (looked like a miscommunication) so Randle was left on his own/to his own devices against a double team, spun and turned the ball over — and after a Mike Miller immediate timeout, Ntilikina was out of the game replaced by Elfrid Payton.

Payton immediately led an attack-the-rim game, but the Knicks still couldn’t hit their jump shots and Miami continued to pass, and slam, and hit their 3’s so the Knicks fell further behind. Miami plays like a gloved hand on both ends of the court — a measure of Erik Spoelstra’s coaching.

Ntilikina was back and played pretty well in the 4th. This was a loss due to the Miami’s gloved-hand team play, and the Knicks Putrid shooting. At times during this game it seemed you’d never seen a team shoot so badly — miss after miss after miss, every time down.

The Boxscore



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