Friday-Night Knicks Lose to Okla, 101-89

Miss miss miss miss miss miss miss.

Just like the game against Toronto in Tampa earlier in the week.

Here are 4 reasons why the Knicks lost this game:

1. Overconfidence?

This was a game the Knicks were supposed to win — they came in favored to win — a rarity! Winners of 3 in a row and sporting a 5-3 record, up against the 3-4 Oklahoma City Thunder at the Coronavirus empty Madison Square Garden on a Friday night.

And the Knicks jumped out to a big lead immediately. Up 24-15 after 1 quarter.

Then the Friday Night Knicks jinx kicked in. Oklahoma started playing a better brand of basketball, and the Knicks started missing. And missing. And missing.

2. Miss Miss Miss Miss — Starting with Quickley

The misfiring actually started with rookie sensation scorer Immanuel Quickley, who came in with 3 minutes to go in the 1st period and started missing first. He finished 1-9 (1-3 from 3) for 3 pts in 17 minutes and a -13.

RJ Barrett played a good brand of basketball overall — a beast in finishing at the basket with his big 6’7 athletic frame; but as the evening wore on he kept missing, and missing, on open jumpers. Barrett would finish the evening 7-21 (1-5 from 3) for 19 points in 44 minutes. Elfrid Payton played well at the point, but also couldn’t get the ball to go down on his runners or jumpers; Payton would finish 4-16 (1-4 from 3; 7-8 in free throws — a good sign) for 16 pts in 31 minutes.

Even the previous game’s sensation Austin Rivers couldn’t get it to go down consistently — he finished 5-12 (2-7 from 3) for 12 pts and a -19.

3. Knicks Different Team When Randle Went Out

Julius Randle got into foul trouble early in the 2nd and was gone. The Knicks were a different team without him. Randle got back into the game in the 3rd and was the only Knick who could score consistently — he finished 8-15 for 18 pts, 12 rebounds, 7 assists in 31 minutes.

4. Shai Gilgeous Heated Up in 4th

A tie game at the half became a 6-pt Oklahoma lead after 3, and then down the stretch the Knicks could not get stops. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was having a terrible shooting game until the 4th when he heated up and became an assassin — finishing 9-14 (3-3 from 3) for 25 pts, 10 rebounds 7 assists. The guy the Knicks picked ahead of him in the 2017 draft — Kevin Knox — had a pretty decent night — 3-9 shooting (3-5 from 3) for 9 points in 22 minutes, and a lot of “motor” on defense.

Mitch Robinson was steady all night — 3-4 shooting for 6 pts, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks in 27 minutes. And Nerlens Noel played well coming off the ankle injury: 2 blocks and a steal in 11 minutes.

The Boxscore

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