New York couldn’t handle a road match in Orlando without their centerpiece in the 112-99 loss.

In their first game of the season without Kristaps Porzingis, the Knickerbockers held their own, but turnovers and some hot shooting from Orlando ultimately put them away down the stretch.

Tim Hardaway Jr.’s efficient night from the field, Frank Ntilikina getting some extended minutes (as well as throwing some dimes), and Dougie McBuckets getting his namesake were a few highlights from Wednesday night’s game in Orlando, which was otherwise an ugly game for New York. Careless ball control plagued the Knicks all night, and not having KP out there showed how offensively weak this team is without its number one option.

Orlando (7-4) defeated New York (6-5) with a resounding final score of 112-99. Let’s take a deeper look at how the Porzingis-less Knicks fared out in central Florida in their eleventh game of the young season.

  • Without their 30 points per game scorer on the floor, someone needed to fill the role of primary option for New York, and Tim Hardaway Jr. was eager to do so. Timmy came out of the gates firing, dropping 11 points in the first quarter but cooled off in the second. He got back in stride in the second half, finishing the game with a nice 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting as well as 11 rebounds. THJ showed that he has the potential to be a great scorer in the league one day, as he was able to score at will with the ball in his hands, sinking threes, driving to the hoop, and creating his own shot in tight situations. I think getting Timmy more minutes in situations where he’s the number one scoring option could prove to be beneficial for the Knicks. As we saw Wednesday night, he thrives when the ball is in his hands and is given the green light to score buckets.

  • Doug McDermott had another solid outing, using his consistent shooting to space the floor and get a few easy looks, as well as surprising with his low-key athleticism to get to the hoop and YAM on the opponent. That white man can jump.

  • Frank Ntilikina saw a large amount of time on the floor against the Magic, a good call by the coaching staff to get the rookie some experience in a game that was difficult to win for New York anyway. In 23 minutes of play, Frankie Smokes looked good once again, showing off his defensive skill set and dropping nine dimes. The French Prince has seen slow but steady improvement so far this season. While he’s become more aggressive on offense in recent games, one area where he needs improvement is driving to the basket. Ntilikina seems hesitant with the ball, all too willing to settle for a jump shot or pass. This unselfishness certainly isn’t a bad thing, but if he wants to develop his offensive game, Frank needs to get to the hoop more than he has been.

  • In what seems like the most minutes he received all season, Willy Hernangómez was on the floor for eight minutes, racking up eight points. While he was likely only out there more than usual because of KP’s absence, hopefully this performance will give Coach Hornacek a reason to put him out there some more in the near future. #FreeWilly
  • As noted by our own Jeffrey Bellone, the Knicks probably gave Michael Beasley the start Wednesday night to keep the bench rotations, which have been effective as of late, intact. This move didn’t alter much for Beas, as he had a relatively quiet night despite the extra minutes.

  • It’s worth noting that, weirdly enough, the Knicks out-rebounded the Magic 42-29. This obviously wasn’t enough to keep New York in the game but is a testament to the strength of their frontcourt, even without Porzingis.
  • What really killed the Knicks against Orlando were the turnovers. New York gave the ball up 23 times, seven more than their average. Hopefully, we’ll be able to look back on this game as an outlier, because man it was ugly.

While it looks rough, this loss certainly isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Without their MVP, the Knicks were more or less expected to lose, and lose they did. New York is now 6-5 and sits at the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Next up for the Knicks is a Saturday night game at the Garden. They’ll take on the Sacramento Kings, hopefully with Porzingis back and healthy.