Knicks Couldn’t Shoot 3’s Straight. Oklahoma 95 NY 80

The Knicks were down by 3 points with 10 minutes left in this game, and then – Oklahoma kept hitting 3’s – often off broken plays at the end of the shot clock against a pretty good Knick D – and the Knicks – didn’t hit any of their 3’s. Within minutes, NY was down double digits and the game was lost.

Final score: Oklahoma City 95 NY 80, on a New Year’s Eve Friday Night. The last game of 2021. Friday Night Knicks.

1. Lone Bright Spot – Barrett Takes It to Hoop

If there was one bright spot in this game, it was the fact that RJ Barrett took it to the basket all night for 26 points on 10-20 shooting despite the fact that his 3-pt jumper continues to be off (he was 1-8 from 3).

With Julius Randle out due to contracting COVID, Barrett asserted himself as the #1 go-to Knick offensive option.

This bodes well for the Knicks future – clearly Barrett has the right mindset to be a star, and the ability to drive to the basket and score consistently against traffic and contact.

It was Barrett’s 3rd game back from a 10-game COVID protocol hiatis. In the prior game he scored 15 points despite not playing in the 4th quarter as all starters were benched while the reserves won the game.

2. Knicks Couldn’t Shoot Straight

The Knicks were a horrid 8-41 from 3. Oklahoma came in as one of the NBA’s worst 3-point shooting teams, but in this game were 18-43. And that was the ballgame.

For the Knicks, besides Barrett’s 1-8 from 3:

You get the picture.

Alec Burks shot 2-3 from 3 but only played 24 minutes and was 3-8 overall for 9 points. Knick fans were hoping he’d take over again in the 4th quarter when the Knicks pulled to within 3, but it never happened. Instead Oklahoma hit their 3’s; the Knicks didn’t.

3. Oklahoma’s 3-Point Zephers

The Knicks pulled to within 3 with 10 minutes left when Aleksej Pokusevski hit a 3 after the Knicks had defended well but Ty Jerome got an offensive rebound. Ty Jerome and Theo Maledon then hit consecutive drives before Andrew Wiggins nailed a 3 and just like that Oklahoma was up by 13. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a drive and Mike Muscala hit two 3’s and that was the old ballgame.

4.. Randle Missed?

Knick fans on Twitter argued afterwards if Julius Randle was missed or not in this game. Some said the Knicks lost because they missed their 3’s, but the ball movement otherwise was good. Others said that Randle distributes and his presence opens up 3’s. In any case Obi Toppin started in his stead and only had 5 points on 1-4 shooting in 27 minutes.

5. Robinson Increased Field Goal Percentage

In what can be considered a second bright spot, Mitchell Robinson was 4-5 from the floor for 9 points and had 12 rebounds. In the prior game he was 3-7 from the floor but the 4-5 raised his league-leading and record-setting-pace field goal percentage back up to .765. At this time he does not qualify to lead the league due to number of attempts. To qualify, a player must be on pace for 300 field goals made, which would mean 3.65 field goals made a game; Robinson is averaging 3.2 field goals made per game.

The Boxscore

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