Yet Another Loss — Oct 30, 2019: Orlando 95 NY 83

Another game, another loss. Dashed was all the hope and excitement that came from the comeback win over the Bulls the previous game — the Bobby Portis revenge game, when the Knicks scored the last 15 points to win.

In this one, Bobby Portis hit a 3 to give the Knicks the lead, 80-79 with 8 minutes to go. But then as Tommy Beer pointed out, on the next 12 possessions:

And that was the old ballgame; Knicks lost 95-83.

Fire at Fizdale

David Fizdale took the brunt of this loss on Knicks Twitter. The Knicks seemed to be playing back-and-forth basketball down the stretch — not doing anything particularly well, and had horrible play calling on the offensive end. In general, the Knicks seem to have nice young talent and some veteran young talent but there’s nothing about this team that distinguishes it, on offense or defense.

Vasilis from Astoria pointed out the “Knicks offense too stagnant no motion, and no pick and roll, repeated theme, #Knicks Does Fizdale even know how to incorporate an offensive system, or is this park basketball.”

After the game, David Fizdale told reporter Chris Iseman that the “Knicks target 300 passes per game. They had 326 last night, the most of their five games this year. Fizdale was also encouraged they only turned the ball over 11 times.”

It seemed that many of those passes were not made in the 4th quarter, when it was mostly iso ball by Morris or Randle. It also begged the question, posed by “Retired Streetball Scrub“, of “Who’s job is it to actually count passes? I wonder if they’re hiring.”

And just when we were observing that Marcus Morris didn’t seem to be giving the Knicks much on offense, and had coughed up the dribble against pressure, Morris drew a charge. At least Morris’s defense throughout was quite good.

Knox

Kevin Knox played great ball especially in the 3rd. He is so much better this year at driving to basket and absorbing contact — vs veering off like last year.

Ntilikina

Ntilikina played well in this game — he got a lot of minutes with Dennis Smith Jr out, Elfrid Payton inactive because of a strained groin, and Allonzo Trier now plasted to the bench by the coach. Ntilikina had 7 pts on 3-8 with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 29 minutes.

However, we commented that with 9 seconds left in the 3rd, and Ntilikina with the ball and the Knicks working on a last shot you KNEW Ntilikina was not going to penetrate, and sure enough he worked the clock to 3 and passed to Knox for a jumper. That lack of penetration threat is a weakness to his game.

Perhaps because of that play, Ntilikina did not play down the stretch — RJ Barrett was given point guard duties. Not sure if Ntilikina would or would not have made a difference during the horrid stretch in the 4th mentioned above.

Barrett

RJ Barrett had an off game — finishing with 9 points on 4-11 and a -20. It lowered his scoring average in the young season to 18.2 — a shame because just after the game, much fanfare was made about undrafted rookie Kris Dunn of Miami, and how he’s the first undrafted rookie to score 100 points in his first 5 games. Barrett missed by 9 points of having 100 points also (although he was the #3 pick).

Mitchell Robinson played well and stayed out of foul trouble, but was taken out late in the 3rd and replaced by Bobby Portis for his offense in the 4th. Robinson had 12 points (on 4-6 shooting and 4-4 on free throws), 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 19 minutes, with only 1 foul. Even Knick beat reporter Stefan Bondy asked “Why take out Robinson?”.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401160698

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