The Knicks wasted a dominant RJ Barrett performance against the Heat during Game 1. Here’s how they can even the series.

After a dominant Round 1, the Knicks were brought down to Earth in the first game of Round 2 against the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon. A lot of what worked for them in the first half—rebounding, second-chance points, and paint scoring—disappeared in the second half. They were unable to make up for turnovers, leading to a disappointing opening to a very tough semifinal series.

In this longer recap, we’ll take a look at what the Knicks can build on as they look ahead to Game 2 and try to clean up the mess they left behind on Sunday afternoon.

Pro: Paint dominance

A big concern for the Knicks all year leading into this postseason has been their inability to quickly read zone defenses and move the ball between isolation scorers like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.

Randle was ruled out for Game 1, and the Knicks initially benefited from Obi Toppin’s cutting ability—it opened things up on offense. Josh Hart, RJ Barrett, and Brunson zipped passes in to exploit the extra help that Bam Adebayo provided at the top of the key. It led to 62 points in the paint for the Knicks compared to just 38 for the Heat.

Barrett was another positive from the first three quarters. He obviously carried over his confidence from Games 3-5 against Cleveland into the matinee loss, scoring easily against a Miami team that was ill-equipped to deal with a strong wing like him. He managed to finish with 26 points, making up for the Randle absence.

Pro: Mitchell Robinson still looks OK

Robinson may have looked more passive as the game went on, possibly due to an injury to his hip that he suffered early on in the contest, but he still wrangled 14 rebounds and helped the Knicks win the rebounding battle. The fact that he out-battled  Adebayo, who is stronger than Cleveland’s bigs, for most of the game could help swing the services.

Still, Robinson needs to be better at staying on his feet to defend against Adebayo’s excellent passing. If he gets too eager, Adebayo can make him pay with a quick corner outlet or scoop pass in the paint. But, with the assistance of Hart and Randle (if healthy), who can bang the boards just as much as him in Game 2, he should be able to continue his success. He just needs to keep himself set and in rhythm against a Miami team looking to box him out heavily during the series.

Con: Three-point shooting

In the postseason, it’s often the case that some of the traits and trends that a team found successful, or hindering, during the regular season get tossed aside as new challenges emerge. Teams that can make adjustments over the course of a series often win. For the Knicks, it comes down to Barrett’s success. He went from having a fairly underwhelming regular season to now becoming one of the Knicks’ more reliable postseason players.

For Miami, their sudden resurgence from three-point range has been their newly found superpower against teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and now the Knicks. After a subpar season from deep, the Heat have shot the laces off the ball with the help of role players like Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, and Gabe Vincent. In Game 1, the Heat shot 33% from deep compared to the Knicks’ abysmal 21%. The only New York player who looked like they could hit from long range was Toppin, and even then, going 4-11 wasn’t too encouraging.

Shooting comes and goes. But it’s a big question mark for this Knicks team that struggles to find their offense outside of the paint and, sometimes, outside of the hands of Brunson and Randle. They must take advantage of the wide-open looks they saw in Game 1 in future games in this series if to have any chance.

Con: Turnovers

Another sour note for the Knicks was their inability to protect the ball. They had a total of 13 turnovers, including five from Brunson. Good teams force these turnovers, and great ones take advantage of them and often. Miami did just that, and it separated what was otherwise a close game across the board between themselves and New York.

The Knicks, simply put, are not a sloppy team. They don’t turn the ball over. They are methodical and careful with their offense. It’s easy to say they can make adjustments to ensure that they don’t get trapped as easily by Heat defenders, but it’s another thing to actually protect the ball in close games like they needed to in Game 1 when things got contentious late in the fourth quarter. There is no reason why they cannot be the team to force those opportunities on defense and push Miami into tough shots.

Taking a step back, we see a team that lost against a team full of veterans who understand what it takes to succeed in the postseason. It should—must—serve as a good lesson for the rest of the series.

Game two is Tuesday at 7:30 at the Garden.

»Read: Grit & Grind Led to First Series Win In a Decade

»Read: Obi Toppin’s Impact this Postseason and Beyond

»Read: Isaiah Hartenstein’s Redemption Arc is Complete