The Knicks lose in their only trip to Oklahoma City in a game featuring zero defense on New York’s end. It’s their third consecutive loss and first after Fizdale was criticized in his starting lineup shakeup.
No Russell Westbrook, no problem Wednesday evening for the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they took care of business at home against New York, dropping them to 4-11 on the season.
It was largely a group effort from the Thunder with Paul George leading the onslaught with 35 points, seven boards, and five assists. Steven Adams down low was dominant, pouring in 19 points, while Westbrook’s backup Dennis Schröder, had a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists. Jerami Grant also chipped in 15.
The Knicks’ perimeter defense was once again abysmal tonight, as they allowed the Thunder to go 16-of-33 from behind the arc. One consistent theme in many Knicks losses has been the aforementioned lack of perimeter defense and this is something they need to correct if they would like to be in any sort of contention going forward.
Tonight’s latest Knicks loss was an ugly one to say the least, a game where the Knicks turned the ball over 18 times and shot a cringe-worthy 27 percent from behind the arc. New York’s shooting inconsistencies and in issues in terms of taking care of the ball have been a large part of the reason why the Knicks find themselves at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.
Tim Hardaway Jr. showed up again offensively, as he continues to rack up the 20-point games. Hardaway Jr. has separated himself as the most reliable scoring threat on the team in KP’s absence and is beginning to live up to his expensive contract signed last offseason despite defensive shortcomings.
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) November 15, 2018
Some additional takeaways from tonight’s defeat. …
If tonight’s matchup between Steven Adams and Mitchell Robinson showed us one thing, it is that the 20-year-old Robinson has a ton of work to do in order to become a force in the league in the post. Mitch Rob was clearly overmatched by the stronger and savvier Adams, who bullied him throughout the night. Robinson only tallied one rebound in 18 minutes of action—a significantly low number for a guy of his stature. Ankle injury aside, it was not a good showing for Mitch.
Despite the subpar performance, nobody should be alarmed by Robinson’s outing this evening, as we already knew he is a project and a raw talent. Personally, I love his athleticism and upside and I believe Fiz should continue to trot him out there and get him as much action as possible, due to the fact Robinson hasn’t played as much organized basketball recently as many of his rookie counterparts.
As Mitch continues to get more reps and time in the league, he will need bulk up and refine his game. Mitchell undoubtedly has the potential to be an impact big in this league on both ends of the floor, so it is important for him to take games like these and use them as developmental learning experiences so he can eventually mold into a star.
Another DNP for Trey
For the third time in four games, Trey Burke got the dreaded DNP-Coach’s Decision next to his name in the box score. In recent games, Emmanuel Mudiay has seen more action while Burke has been largely relegated to the bench. While one’s not sure if there is an underlying reason as to why Burke’s minutes have been mostly eliminated recently, it comes as somewhat of a shock, since he has had a decent year up until this point.
Burke was one of the most vocal in terms of his support for the hiring of Coach Fizdale and was eager for a fresh start, so we’ll see if maybe he can return to the good graces of the coaching staff and get back into the rotation.
The Knicks are back in action Friday night in New Orleans against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.