The Knicks were never any legitimate competition to the Nuggets in the last of three consecutive home games to Western Conference foes.
While it was up for debate whether this game could or should happen due to concerns of COVID-19, specifically related to the last two teams the Denver Nuggets (5-5) played, the game did go on and it was not a pretty one as the Nuggets ran away with it by a score of 114-89 of the second game in as many days on their East Coast road trip.
With their second straight loss, the New York Knicks (5-5) appear to crash back to reality. There were not a lot of positives to take away from this 25-point loss to the Nuggets. Denver dominated from wire to wire and really controlled every aspect of the game.
The Nuggets took a commanding lead in the second quarter pushing the lead to 21 going into the half and never looked back, keeping that lead at 15 or greater before the Nuggets backups were eventually able to get it to the 25-point final.
The Knicks’ offensive woes were the story of the first half as they were only able to scrounge together 38 points. The Nuggets threw a zone at New York that seemed to completely disrupt the flow of offense due to the lack of shooting. The alternation between man and zone also appeared to keep the Knicks from getting into any rhythm. The Nuggets were able to extend their lead under their bench unit who outscored the Knicks 16-4 in the first half.
Little more happened of any note in the second half as the Nuggets were able to rest their starters for the entire fourth quarter with their lead being as secure as it was.
The ‘Bockers had absolutely no answer for potential MVP candidate Nikola Jokic who absolutely killed the Knicks every time they doubled him with finding open teammates. Jokic finished with 22-10-5 in 30 minutes and New York felt every bit of that as he dominated the game.
While there were not a lot of positives from this game, two Knicks stood out above the rest: Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. These two combined for 40 of the Knicks 89 total points as well as 15 of their 36 rebounds.
- R.J. Barrett’s offensive struggles were a cause for concern, finishing with nine points on 13 shot attempts.
More of this plz RJ pic.twitter.com/wFe5Aw14q6
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 11, 2021
- Alec Burks’ shooting is desperately missed as the Knicks shot 28% from beyond the arc.
- Nerlens Noel looked borderline unplayable and there is not much more to add. There was nothing positive to say about his performance.
- While some of the offensive performance is purely on Barrett, the roster and lack of spacing around him when on the court with Randle and Mitch is not doing him any favors.
- One might wonder what it would take for the offensive lineup to be adjusted as both Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock seem to be hurting the lineup more than they are helping it at this point.
- While Randle played a fantastic game tonight finishing with 29-10-5, he also racked up 38 minutes even amidst the blowout. So it does bring questions as to how he will look tomorrow night in Charlotte in the second game of a back-to-back.
- Obi Toppin cannot come back soon enough, if for nothing but a spark plug to the fanbase.
The Knicks look to rebound and stop their losing streak at two games tomorrow night at 7 p.m. EST on the road against Lamelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets.