The tank rolls on as Knicks get embarrassed 114-90 at the hands of Dennis Smith Jr., Mavs in one could be Dirk Nowitzki’s final MSG game.
After remaining competitive for the first two-plus quarters, the Knicks went into the tank in the third quarter as they so often do—getting outscored 35-23, as the game quickly got out of reach.
New York did a decent job guarding rookie sensation Luka Doncic, holding him to 16 points, but Dennis Smith Jr. recorded his second career triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists, while Harrison Barnes chipped in 19 points to lead Dallas to a convincing victory.
One of the most exciting portions of the evening were the loud cheers that erupted in the fourth quarter for Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a season-high 14 points. Dirk has likely played his final game at MSG as his Hall of Fame career comes to an end following the conclusion of the 2018–19 season—21 seasons strong.
Throughout this 40-loss season, there have been some positive defeats where we see some encouraging progress and competitive play.
Unfortunately this game was not one of them.
After showing some defensive promise recently, the Knicks came back down to earth and looked horrendous, letting the Mavs have their way all night due to poor positioning, an extreme lack of communication, and little help defense.
Dallas ranks 22nd in the NBA in field goal percentage but were able to find the bottom of the net more often than not, shooting nearly 54 percent from the field.
Offensively, nobody was very good aside from Trey Burke, who scored 16 points on an efficient 7-of-14 from the field. Kevin Knox shot poorly from the perimeter and couldn’t buy a bucket during garbage time when he was open. Tim Hardaway Jr. was awful yet again and is quickly falling out of favor with Knicks fans, who are hoping to ship him out of town as soon as possible.
Tonight’s latest Knicks debacle marks their 12th straight home defeat, a franchise record.
Mitch Rob Impressive
Despite a very pedestrian stat line from Mitchell Robinson this evening, he was extraordinarily active on both ends of the floor and continues to show flashes of greatness. Robinson’s athleticism is eye-opening, and he uses it not only to throw down highlight-reel dunks but to be a great shot blocker and alterer both inside and outside.
Recently, Mitch has shown his ability to guard all over the floor, and was able to thwart a Luka Doncic three-point attempt this evening—much like he did against James Harden last week.
Although rebounding numbers are still a glaring issue for the seven-footer, he still gives you a handful of plays per night that make you excited about this kid’s future. Kudos to Mitch for being mature and continuing to play hard and develop his game despite the futile play around him.
Mitch will always and forever bring the block party pic.twitter.com/rehFfjFFzZ
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 31, 2019
Enes Sees the Floor
After a series of “we want Kanter” chants from the MSG crowd in the middle of the third quarter, Enes got onto the court for the first time since January 21st against the Thunder.
Kanter kissed the halfcourt Knicks logo on the Garden floor and proceeded to throw up an airball on his first shot. Kanter ended up with five points in nine minutes. Coach Fizdale claims he was not swayed by the chants for Kanter, citing poor big man play as his reasoning behind giving Kanter some minutes.
The Knicks are back in action this Friday at home against the Celtics.