Undermanned Knicks Run Out of Gas. Atlanta 116 NY 100

The Knicks came back from an early 22-point deficit to tie the game near the end of the 3rd quarter, and were 4 points down with 6 minutes left in the game, but ran out of gas — missing their shots while Atlanta rolled to the 116-100 win on a Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Coming off an amazing undermanned win over Cleveland in Cleveland, the Knicks were again without Jalen Brunson and the entire starting front line — but did not come out with the same fire they had from the beginning in Cleveland. Maybe they were subconsciously thinking Atlanta was an easier foe, especially with Trae Young out. Also NY kept missing their 3’s.

But in the 2nd quarter NY started to play good ball — and pulled to within 11 at the half, then tied the game in the 3rd. But a turnover and a serendipity play at the end of the 3rd gave Atlanta back the lead and momentum, and NY kept missing their shots in the 4th.

“We created good shots; I thought a lot of the 3’s were wide open,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “We gotta make ’em.”

“The rebounding was a problem,” added Thibs. “That was a bigger concern for me. Missed shots are part of the game. But it’s your rebounding that’s important. We didn’t rebound the ball the way [we can] — it’s one of the few times we got outrebounded.”

NY falls to 36-26. Atlanta improves to 27-34.

1. Atlanta Jumps Out to 22-Point Lead

As a fan, you thought the Knicks had this game — even without Jalen Brunson and good that Thibs was giving Brunson the night off to make sure the knee he injured in the previous game had an extra day’s rest.

Atlanta is a sub-.500 team this year, the game was at MSG, and the Hawks were without Trae Young.

And it looked like the Knick team came out thinking they had this one too — as they didn’t have the intensity they had vs Cleveland. Also Atlanta is coached by Quin Snyder — a very good coach who always has his teams playing good defense.

Not to mention Atlanta has some very good ballplayers — Dejounte Murray at guard, De’Andre Hunter (who comes off the bench these days at forward), Saddiq Bey (from Villanova), Clint Capela at center, and the other Bogdanovic — Bogdan Bogdanovic.

And Jalen Johnson — who starts at power forward and is the reason why De’Andre Hunter now comes off the bench.

Johnson KILLED the Knicks all night with inside post-up moves, short jumpers off quick drives, and 3’s — he shot 12-17 (2-3 from 3) for 26 points, with 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

Hunter scored 22 points on 9-14 shooting — the two were a load full.

Bey, Capela, and Johnson had 9 rebounds each, and 6’8 Bruno Fernando had 7 rebounds off the bench, allowing Atlanta to out-rebound NY 51-40.

Jericho Sims played a strong inside game for NY, as did Precious Achiuwa, and Hartenstein played 20 minutes at sub-peak efficiency due to the achilles.

On offense NY kept hoisting up 3’s and missing — especially Donte DiVincenzo — who would end the night 5-17 from 3 (and 7-24 overall for 21 pts).

2. Knicks Get Serious in 2nd

A De’Andre Hunter jumper put Atlanta up 37-15 early in the 2nd quarter when NY started to get serious and play a more frenetic style of ball on both ends of the court.

Alec Burks and Bogan Bogdanovic formed a 2-man scoring team early in the 2nd quarter — Burks hitting a 3 and a deuce, Bogey hitting a 3, Burks with a J, Bogey with a 3 — but NY still found itself down 21 points at 52-31.

But the Knicks were just getting warmed up: Precious Achiuwa hit a drive, Donte DiVincenzo finally hit a 3, Miles McBride hit a 3, Precious made a drive, and Bogey hit a 3 and NY was down 56-46.

Atlanta fired back on scores by Jalen Johnson and Murray — and Thibs called a key timeout with 46 seconds left in the half.

NY regrouped out of the timeout and scored the last two buckets of the half — a drive by DiVincenzo and a score inside by Precious to make it Atlanta 61 NY 50 at the half. Things were looking for NY.

3. Knicks Tie it at 78-78 Late in 3rd

Precious Achiuwa continued to dominate at start of the 3rd — a bucket inside-and-1 to start the period, a block of a DeJounte Murray drive, another bucket later in the quarter.

Deuce McBride — playing Great ball on both ends — made the play of the game with a slam early in the quarter.

Meanwhile the Knicks continued to hit their 3’s: McBride hit one, DiVincenzo hit one, and Josh Hart hit one.

A Bogey drive-and-1 pulled NY to within 2 points, and a Josh Hart jumper finally tied the game at 76-76.

Atlanta’s Trent Forrest scored, but Hart hit a drive to tie it again, at 78-78.

The Knicks were on the verge of taking the lead.

And then … in the final minute of the quarter .. Jalen Johnson hit another jumper inside, and DiVincenzo turned the ball over stepping on the baseline — Atlanta had the ball back and scored again on a Bogdan (the other) Bogdanovic 3 to end the 3rd up 5.

Atlanta had momentum back.

4. NY Ran Out of Gas

Alec Burks gave the Knicks some offense early in the 4th with 2 straight jumpers, but then he missed his next 4 shots, and the rest of the Knicks kept missing too.

Jericho Sims was playing a strong inside game,  and with Bogey and Burks in for offense, and McBride and Josh Hart rounding out the team on the floor — Precious Achiuwa was the odd man out — even though he was playing so well. He didn’t play in the 4th until just under 2 minutes left — and finished with 15 points on 7-8 shooting in only 24 minutes.

“Just the way the game went,” explained Thibs afterwards. “They were collapsing so we needed shooting on the floor.”

Consecutive Josh Hart 3’s pulled NY to within 4 points at 95-91 with 6:27 left, but Murray hit a 3, and Capela hit free throws to put Atlanta back up 10 with 4:37 left.

In the closing minutes Atlanta hit shots (Murray, Hunter, Bey, Capela inside) and the Knicks didn’t.

The Boxscore



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.