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Saric, Sixers Dismantle Knicks in First Fultz Impression

Photo: via Knicks.com
Simmons flashes passing prowess while Saric pours in 26 points and the Knicks see Fultz in person for the first time. New York fell to the wayside by the Process Sixers in Philly on Wednesday, the final score: 118–101.

The New York Knicks (27–49) took an ugly loss to the Philadelphia 76ers (44–30) in Philly on Wednesday.

The game started off a bit lopsided thanks to Philadelphia’s hot shooting early, but a Knicks run near the end of the second quarter tightened the score by halftime. In the second half though, it was classic Knicks—little defense to be had as Dario Saric and team poured it on heavy.

The Sixers’ domination of the boards—they out-rebounded New York 58–46—combined with great passing and a turnover-prone Knicks offense that shot 38.3 percent from the field, made this one a blowout. With the win tonight Philly completed the season sweep of New York and moved to within half a game of the third seed in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Philly was riding high on a seven-game winning streak, and a total dismantling of the hapless New York Knicks kept the train rolling through eight consecutive victory royales.


Give Frank More Minutes!

We’re at the point in the season where Frank Ntilikina should be starting the majority of games, whether that means bringing Trey Burke in off the bench or sliding Hardaway to the 3 spot. While Coach Hornacek has been doing a good job with giving the young guys more run recently (moving the outlandishly offensive threat Trey Burke into the starting point guard role, for example), he missed a great opportunity to put Frank out there on one of the best young guards in the league in Ben Simmons. His length and defensive prowess could have made it a bit more difficult for Simmons tonight, who had 13 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.

To be fair, Frank was only able to put up three points on 1-of-6 shooting in 23 minutes (his lone made field goal was a three-pointer). It would’ve been nice to see him get a little more run out there though, especially when the Knicks have nothing to lose anymore; instead, Hornacek trotted veteran forward Lance Thomas in the starting lineup to primarily defend Simmons—poorly.

Kanter’s toughness

Despite taking a rough fall early in the game, Enes Kanter had one of the most productive games of any Knick tonight.

Kanter kept a high energy level all night—fighting for rebounds and scrapping in the paint on offense as is the usual with the Tenacious Turk. He finished with 17 points and a team-high 15 boards, his 38th double-double of the season.

Enes has quietly been one of the most efficient Knicks all season. He’s consistently one of the highest scoring players every game and has improved his defense dramatically since his time with OKC, although he still has some room to improve, especially in the defense department.

Other Notes
  • “Walking Bucket” Michael Beasley led the Knicks in scoring tonight with a 22 point game on 9-of-20 shooting.
  • In his second game back from injury, Markelle Fultz received a standing ovation from the Philly crowd. He finished with three points, five rebounds, and seven assists, with draft classmate Frank Ntilikina guarding him the majority of their shared minutes.
  • In a scary moment early on in the game, Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz collided, which left Embiid with a facial contusion, according to the team. He was taken to the locker room and did not return in the second half of the contest.
  • With a loss tonight, New York is now firmly two games out from Chicago’s eighth spot in the lottery standings, if you will. However, with such little time left in the season and the Bulls on an impressive(?) six-game losing streak, it looks like the Knicks will be stuck with the ninth spot headed into the NBA Draft Lottery on May 15.

Up next on the schedule for the Knickerbockers is a matchup with Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden.

For more on New York’s loss in Philly, check out Knicks Film School’s breakdown:

TKW’s resident youngin’. Steve Novak is my hero.

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