The Knicks fell 110-87 in Coach Fizdale’s emotional return to Miami — and suddenly the team finds itself free falling with four consecutive defeats.
After a promising first quarter in which New York used a 14-0 run to propel themselves to a 27-16 lead, the wheels quickly came off as the Knicks were outscored by 94-60 (!) for the remainder of the contest.
Looking at the box score this evening you will see plenty of ugly numbers, especially in the shooting department. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., who are often looked upon to shoulder the backcourt scoring load, went a combined 5-of-20 from the field and chipped in a measly 17 points. Ouch.
New York had no answer for Hassan Whiteside, who put up 22 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks for the Heat, while his teammates Josh Richardson and Rodney McGruder went a combined 8-of-9 from three while scoring 21 and 19 points, respectively. The well-balanced attack from the Miami Heat gave New York fits all night, as it was a pick your poison type of game for the 1-4 Knicks—not quite the homecoming head coach David Fizdale was expecting in South Beach.
The one bright spot of tonight’s latest Knicks debacle was the play of Damyean Dotson, who poured in 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Dotson was extraordinarily active on both ends of the floor, attacking the basket with conviction and hit his perimeter shots:
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) October 25, 2018
Overall, the ‘Bockers finished the night hitting only 36.3 percent of their shots and couldn’t seem to string together buckets after the first quarter ended to get themselves back into the game. Offensive consistency has been an issue for the Knicks during their four-game skid, and tonight it contributed to their worst performance of the season. We can expect the Knicks to have nights like this frequently, as their roster’s average age lands at 26.8 and they’re also overmatched talent wise against most teams they will face—especially tonight against a low-seed, playoff-caliber Heat squad.
After a very encouraging outing against the Bucks on Monday for Mario Hezonja, the 23-year-old looked bad again tonight against the Heat shooting only 4-of-15 from the field and missing three of his six free throws. Personally, I was focused on Mario tonight just to see if he could build on his first good Knicks performance, but he failed to do so. Hezonja, to me, has looked very flustered and rushed with his shots and doesn’t always seem to know where he needs to be defensively. It’s a shame because the guy is very talented, but consistency issues have plagued him this year and his entire career.
We just simply need to see more from the Croatian forward for him to really become a reliable option for the Knicks after Wednesday. It seems like he always leaves us fans wanting more, and that is a very gut-wrenching feeling knowing a guy isn’t playing up to his potential. The season is early, however, so we’ll see how Mario bounces back.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Knicks resume action Friday at the Garden against the defending champion Warriors.