Knicks Stink — Feb 27, 2020: Philly 115 NY 106

Maybe the Knicks just stink. Maybe it’s time to just admit it. They lost this game in the 2nd quarter, when they allowed a Philly team that did not have Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons — to get away from them. Despite a 36-23 record coming in, Philly has had their share of problems, with disgruntled players and ineffective stars (Al Horford).

But they outclassed the Knicks to take a 15-point halftime lead, and upped the lead to 21 points in the 3rd until the Knicks began their usual tease to get back to within 6 points in the final 5 minutes, but lose.

Coach Mike Miller was responsible for this loss as much as anyone — not playing Allonzo Trier in the 1st quarter or well into the 2nd quarter — instead playing Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock together in the 2nd quarter which caused Philly to start taking off. Miller was no doubt countering Philly’s bigger guards — 6’5 Josh Richardson, 6’6 wide body Glenn Robinson III, and 6’5 point guard Shake Milton —  and did not want to put the 6’4 and slender Trier in against them. Trier who was coming off that fantastic 4th quarter the game before. And Miller might have been looking for some 3-pt shooting from Ellington and Bullock (although Trier can hit the 3 too). But the defense of Ellington and Bullock was porous and they offered nothing offensively.

Where’s Trier?

The game veered off course for the Knicks at the end of the 1st quarter — Dennis Smith Jr got partially blocked on a slam dunk by Kyle O’Quinn that would’ve tied the game at 23; it went the other way — NY played good D, Philly’s Mike Scott missed a 3 but Philly got the offensive rebound in a scramble, and then Furkan Korkmaz hit a fallaway 3 from the right corner — serendipity kills the Knicks — instead of a tie game it was Philly up by 5 at the end of 1Q. Ellington was put in at the end of the 1st quarter, and the Knicks remained stuck on 21 for the longest time — a 23-21 Philly lead became a 31-21 lead as — starting late in the 1st, Elfrid Payton missed a jumper, Payton missed 2 free throws, Smith got blocked on that slam, Kevin Knox missed 2 free throws, and Philly started to pull away. Soon Walt Frazier asked, “WHERE’S TRIER??” Minutes later Marc Berman of the NY Post tweeted “Sixers up 40-26. No Trier.”

Miller corrected his error and brought Trier in late in the 2nd quarter — Trier’s earliest appearance in a game since the beginning of the season. Ellington finished with 9 minutes, and 0-2 shooting (both were 3’s) for 2 pts and a -11, and Bullock was 1-2 (0-1 from 3) for 2 pts in 18 minutes and a -21. This off Bullock’s -25 last game. Trier played 10 minutes — 3-5 shooting for 6 pts.

Randle Balled; Harkless On Fire from 3; Gunfight

Julius Randle balled in this game — starting in the 2nd quarter and really taking charge in the 3rd followed by Mitchell Robinson, Elfrid Payton, RJ Barrett, and Maurice Harkless. Harkless got red hot and was hitting 3’s from everywhere — he hit 5 in the 3rd quarter. But Philly was hitting 3’s too to counter. It became a gunfight.

Dennis Smith Jr left the game with concussion symptoms so it was Payton at the point for the rest of the way. That same combo of players above carried the Knicks back to within 6 in the 4th but it was the usual tease.

Randle Says “F You” with His Play

Randle finished with 30 pts on 11-18 shooting, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and a +10 — he basically said fuck you to all of Knicks twitter that relentlessly smashes him.

Knicks Starters Shined

Elfrid Payton also lit up the boxscore for 18 pts on 7-15 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 12 assists in 36 minutes and a +8.

RJ Barrett made some terrific drives in this game, finishing with 6-13 for 15 pts, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a +3. Moe Harkless had 17 pts and a +10. Mitch Robinson played great in his 32 minutes — the boxscore did not show how well he played — he finished with 6 pts, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and a -1.

And so you look at the +/- figures and you see how the Knicks lost — the Bobby Portis (-18), Kevin Knox (he was playing in that 2nd quarter and was 0-3 for 0 pts and a -7), Ellington, and Bullock negative +/- figures jump out; the starting team all had very positive +/- figures.

Taj Gibson was injured so did not play, causing Portis to start at center. Mike Miller afterwards said that Mitchell Robinson is playing his best ball as a Knick — very efficient — and they want to keep him in his current rhythm of coming off the bench.

The Boxscore

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.