Despite a gritty effort from the young Knicks, they come up short at home losing 107-101.

Once again, the Knicks competed hard against a playoff caliber team, keeping the game close into the fourth quarter before floundering during the final three minutes of the game.

New York did a lot of things well throughout the game, including knocking down 48% of their three pointers (12-25) and keeping star scorer Victor Oladipo at bay for the first part of the game. If you believe in moral victories, you could definitely chalk this one up in that category, as the Knicks went down fighting against a very sound Indiana Pacers team.

One positive was the play of THJ, who looks more and more comfortable each night being a number one scoring option. Hardaway drained a career high seven threes and finished the game with 37 points. Unfortunately, his scorching shooting night wasn’t enough to overcome the fourth quarter onslaught from the Pacers.

Allonzo Trier had another excellent showing in limited minutes, putting up 14 points while attacking the basket with conviction and hitting his outside shots. The versatility and burst of energy Trier provides off the bench continues to be a pleasant surprise. He is shaping up to be one of the most valuable undrafted free agent finds in recent memory for the Knicks.

On the defensive end, the Knicks had no answer for Domantas Sabonis, who missed only one of his 13 shots and finished the game with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

The Knicks contained the rest of the Pacers’ offense until Victor Oladipo popped off in the second half (24 points total), hitting huge shots down the stretch while breaking the Knickerbockers’ hearts.

Poor Interior Defense

One glaring weakness this evening was the Knicks’ atrocious defense in the paint. Domantas Sabonis, who is not a bonafide scorer by any stretch, pretty much had his way all night. Myles Turner also had a field day during the first quarter, getting uncontested dunks and layups against the porous interior defense.

Despite his offseason hard work and hunger to improve, Enes Kanter has played badly this season on the defensive end, and he undoubtedly was exposed this evening as Sabonis killed the Knicks down low.

An immediate solution would be to give Mitchell Robinson more minutes, as he alters so many shots with his leaping ability and athleticism. MitchRob logged two blocks in 18 minutes of action and was extremely active defensively.

Overall, it was a solid effort by the Knicks at home. This is a game Coach Fiz and the squad can build on going into their next game, Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks.