Free Throws — Nov 24, 2019: Brooklyn 103 NY 101

This loss was about the free throws. The Knicks missed a bunch — were 9-16 from the line. The Nets took a lot more free throws, and hit a much higher percentage of them — they were 27-34 from the line. The Knicks lost by 2.

Included were some silly ‘touch’ fouls by Mitchell Robinson down the stretch that had him fouling out. The last one came when Spencer Dinwiddie ran into him 30 feet from the basket late in the 4th and Robinson was called for a blocking foul (Mitch, with 5 fouls, was out to help on a switch — Walt Frazier was confused “What is he doing 30 feet from the basket???”). Robinson complained and got hit with a T. The refs didn’t have to call the T, but they did. Again the Knicks lost by 2 points, so it loomed large.

The first question posed to coach David Fizdale after the game, by Marc Berman of the NY Post, was of the foul discrepancy and if Fizdale was concerned about his team being called for so many touch fouls. Fizdale didn’t put the blame on the refs, but agreed it was an issue.

After the game Mitchell Robinson said that all he said to the ref was “I don’t want to talk,” when he got hit with the T.

Nets and Dinwiddie Attacked the Basket

The Nets shot more free throws because they attacked the basket more. Especially Spencer Dinwiddie who seems to love to take on — and score at will against — Frank Ntilikina — last year he was calling clear-out ISO plays against Ntilikina down the stretch of one game. Dinwiddie was 13-14 from the free throw line in this game, and 7-17 from the floor for 30 points. Ntilikina however, played Dinwiddie well in the 4th quarter, causing that not-so-great 7-17 field goal shooting.

Jarrett Allen was 8-11 from the free throw line.

On the other end, the Knicks did not have guys who attacked the basket as much. RJ Barrett did not play in this game due to the flu. And Allonzo Trier who also attacks and draws a lot of fouls, was again cemented to the bench. Dennis Smith Jr played well, and attacked the rim, but didn’t draw any free throws. Frank Ntilikina does not draw free throws (he was actually 1-1 from the line, 3-11 from the floor, 1-5 from 3 for 8 points in 32 minutes).

Ntilikina did have one of the nicer plays in the game, when he drove full court for a bucket in the 4th, and 1 — his lone free throw.

Julius Randle played mostly in control and attacked the rim for 15 points on 6-10 shooting, and was 2-4 from the line.

Lucy and the Football

It seemed the Knicks were down by about 8 points the whole game. They tied the game midway through the 3rd, but the Nets pulled away to an 8-pt lead again. Then in the final minutes, the Knicks made their run. It was Lucy telling us fans she wanted us to kick the football again, and she’d hold it for us and she swore she wouldn’t pull it away at the last second. And so we went to kick it and she pulled it away again. The Knicks were down 3 with 44 seconds left when they swung it to Frank Ntilikina for a wide-open 3 from the right corner, but he missed. And that was ballgame.

Knicks Down by 14 Early

The Nets pulled out to a 14-point lead in the 1st quarter and it was more of the same from the game before for the Knicks — Frank Ntilikina was missing his shot and failing to put any pressure on the Defense. Fizdale put in Dennis Smith Jr alongside him and Smith started slow but put on the turbo charger in the 2nd quarter to pull the Knicks back into the game.

Wayne Ellington (4-8 for 13 points, 4-7 from 3) shot well from 3 to keep the Knicks within range every time the Nets tried to break back to a double-digit lead.

Marcus Morris also had a terrific game — 26 points on 9-17, and 7-8 from 3.

Mitchell Robinson had 6 points (2-2, 2-4 from free throw line), 3 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 19 minutes before fouling out. Damyean Dotson played pretty well after the 1st quarter, and Kevin Knox was more aggressive, but picked up 4 fouls in 18 minutes. Bobby Portis shot poorly (1-5 for 3 points in 17 minutes).

For the Nets, Caris Lavertt was out, as was Kyrie Irving and of course Kevin Durant. Garrett Temple (with his 9th team) had 12 points on 4-9, and Taurean Prince had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists.

The Knicks individually and as a team played pretty well. But the free throws…

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401160878

 

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