Ntilikina Not Enough; Knicks Get School Yarded — Nov 6, 2019: Detroit 122 NY 102

1-7. Directionless. Befuddled.

The Knicks didn’t come close to winning this game, even against a Detroit team considered to be weakened with their two best players — Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson — out injured. Tied 69-69 midway through the 3rd quarter, Detroit put the pedal to the metal and blew the Knicks off the court.

School Yard

The Knicks continue to mostly look like a school yard team — with no identity on offense or defense. There are periods of good offensive ball movement, and then they stop, and the Knicks resemble a team looking to shoot the ball as fast as possible without any passes. There are periods of good team defense, but then they stop, and the Knicks look like a team just running back and forth in the school yard, with some good individual defense but not good team defense.

The Turning Point

There was a 6-point play that was the turning point. The Knicks were about 5 points behind Detroit throughout the 1st half, then pulled to a tie early in the 3rd. Down 2, Julius Randle went out to defend a 3 by Marcus Morris‘s twin brother Markieff Morris — Morris hit the 3 and came down on Randle’s feet which slightly undercut Morris — in the old days not a foul — but with the new “Zaza Pachulia” rule, it was a 4-pt play AND a flagrant — so Detroit got the ball back, and scored — a 6-pt play. From being down 2 the Knicks were down 8 and Detroit had full momentum. The rule was put in place after the dirty play that Zaza Pachulia did to Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs 2 years ago.

The First Half

Frank Ntilikina played well in this game both on the offensive and defensive end of the court, especially in the first half. He even penetrated and hit layups, and open jumpers.

RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Julius Randle, and Marcus Morris also played well offensively in the 1st half into the 2nd half.

But the Knicks’ front court defense was atrocious. Mitchell Robinson got hit with an inadvertent elbow in the head early in the game, and left due to concussion symptoms. He only played 8 minutes. That left the interior open to Detroit monster Andre Drummond who destroyed the Knicks (27 pts on 12-16, 12 rebounds, 7 assists). Robinson had to leave with only 8 minutes played (6 pts on 3-4, 4 rebounds). Bobby Portis tried to no avail to guard Drummond the rest of the game.

Julius Randle did ok offensively but was noted for playing poor defense. Tony Snell cooked the Knicks (9-9, 6-6 from 3 for 24 pts). Thon Maker came off the bench to go 3-3. Knicks had no interior defense, and Snell and Morris were getting open 3’s as well.

Coach Fizdale had Allonzo Trier cemented to the bench again — playing Wayne Ellington instead. Ellington continued to misfire — 1-5 shooting with 0-4 from 3 for 2 points in 14 minutes. Finally, with 3:30 left in the game and the Knicks down 24 points, Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson were brought in. Trier hit a 3-pt jumper almost immediately and finished with 5 points in 4 minutes. Dotson also hit a jumper almost immediately.

Etcetera

Seemingly directionless, the Knicks have no direction home — they take on Kristaps Porzingis in Dallas next.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401160745

 

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