Thanks to poor outside shooting, a lack of poise, and no Julius Randle, the Knicks drop Game 1
Playing this Heat team is just a frustrating experience. Lets be real, the 2nd half was just ugly, no way around it. The longer it went on the worse it seemed to get. Obviously ppl are talking about the lack of execution down the stretch and how the Knicks didn’t go at Jimmy after he got hurt, but thats not my main takeaway. The Knicks got open shots, and they will continue to get them throughout the series. If they can hit them (even at an average clip), they will put themselves in a great position to win the series. You just can’t have another 7/34 performance. And I have faith they will get the shots b/c its what the Heats defensive scheme is giving them, and, bc I trust Brunson and RJ to keep making great reads off the dribble. If we can get this new RJ, an improved Brunson, and any form of positivity from Randle, hopefully the rest of the rotation clicks back into place when they are playing the roles they are used to.
Also, even if Jimmy is out Game 2 I would still be scared of the Heat. Teams sometimes play more freely when they are missing their #1 guy. Now the Heat are not as talented as other teams, but they still can get big performances from other guys as we saw yesterday. It’s almost like a trap game. But regardless of whose out there, the game is probably a borderline must win for the Knicks. Even if I am nervous, I still have hope and will be confident until given a reason not to be! LGK!
As justifiably thrilled we were over beating the Cavs, we have to remember the Heat beat the top seed, including a close out on the road against a fully healthy Bucks team. The Heat are riding high and we have to take a game to knock some confidence from them. That said, I don’t think the Knicks are overmatched by any stretch. As the cliche goes, it’s a make or miss league. We have to hit open 3’s, period. And take care of the ball. Hoping Grimes is fully healthy and gets more run. We also need Julius.
On an unrelated note, I was upstate on a college trip and watched the game up there before driving home. If there’s a downside of the Knicks being relevant again, it’s listening to the takes of casual fans on WFAN (‘They need to coach Robinson on how to shoot free throws’; ‘Don’t shoot 3’s when you’re not making them...just drive the ball’). The topper was a caller who said the Knicks should have started - started! - D Rose. It took a lot not to drive off the road in a driving rainstorm. Missed commiserating with the KFS fans on the game thread.
Let’s go get game 2
Without Randle, the Knicks won’t win this series. Without Randle and Grimes (inexcusable coaching, only 10m for a key NY starter), the Knicks won’t win a game. It’s really as simple as that. The Knicks won’t shoot 20% from three but their average this post season is 28%. So expecting them to hit more than 30% might be wishful thinking (I will wish though).
Finally, the Knicks were riding too high, thought being home would make the game a cinch and they learned real fast that Miami is a tough, veteran team, coaching by amongst the very best NBA coaches, led by the best player in the series for either side.
The Knick need to realize they are the underdog and I’d they don’t bite, kick and scratch, it will be summertime.
This was a very frustrating loss, but a big part of that frustration is how easy it was to see the outlines of a win just out of grasp.
For me at least, it was much less disheartening than the Game 2 loss at Cleveland -- I very quickly bounced back to looking forward to the next game, whereas against Cleveland I was terrified that Game 3 was going to show that the series was over. (I guess game 3 kind of did tell us the series was over, but not in the way I was worried about.)
Bring on Game 2! Hopefully Julius is back and everyone else learns from their Game 1 mistakes.
What’s up with Q ? I know you spoke of the impact he had on D even though he was subpar on offense, but isn’t Q without a shot just Deuce ? If so, why not give Deuce a few minutes to see if he has something.
I was really annoyed last night but today I see things more clearly. The best (?) coach in Basketball and a team that has way more Playoff experience came to New York and taught us a valuable lesson. The key will be applying those learnings to the rest of the series. 100% on needing Randle back, but I also think that we're unlikely to have such a terrible shooting night again. All in all, I'm still confident, it'll be a war until the last game but we can get through.
Don’t worry. We still got this. The most illustrative stat of game 1 was how although we got all the points in the paint compared to Miami, they went to the line way more than us.
Miami was already decimated coming in, and now they have Jimmy hobbled. Lowry also dinged his bad knee late in the game.
We all know how the league plays games to ensure a long series, if they can at all help it, because the added inventory for its broadcast partners represent their profits.
Generally speaking the league wants a long series where both the Knicks and Heat destroy each other, so the Celtics have a glide path into the Finals. If they can also find a way to get the Lakers there too, they will do it, because the perspective of the league office on Park Ave. is that a Celtics-Lakers Finals is a license to print money.
So if the Lakers find a way past the Warriors, and with a little help they probably will, look for every call go against the Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Then, when the Lakers play the Celtics, everything will swing the Celtics way.
Now they can only do so much within reason, they can’t totally control the outcome, but the business model of the NBA for the past 75 years has been geared toward who they think of as their target customer. Their typical target customer is a white family from flyover country who are passive fans, who in the spring instead of watching baseball, son, dad, and grandad, sit on the couch and watch basketball. According to the vision of the league what they want to see is the Celtics win, and the Lakers win, and then they want to see the Celtics beat the Lakers.
I don’t think that’s actually what America wants, but that’s what the league has been doing for 75 years, and it makes them lots of money, and their attitude is that if it’s not broke don’t fix it.
How do they do this without drawing suspicion? Yesterday was a perfect example. In the 4th quarter right out of the gate they call a few tight whistles on us. This not only puts Miami in the penalty and shooting for the last 6:30 of the game, but it allows them to play much more aggressively because any contact sends them to the FT line.
I think we win the next two, and in the end win the series.
Also, on a separate point, one that Mike Breen has alluded to often this season, is that the analytically driven belief that you just need to shoot more 3s in order to win is based on faulty logic, and this game again proved it.
The Knicks shot 7 of 34 from 3 for 21%. Many of those attempts were contrived, meaning not in the flow of the offense, and instead were taken in accordance with the prevailing misconception across the league that you need to just shoot more 3s in order to win.
Well, if you just take 14 of those attempts, which were bad shot attempts, under duress or otherwise not in rhythm, I’m sure their was more than 14 attempts which the criteria applies, but let’s just take 14 attempts away and instead on those possessions move the ball and try to attempt a high percentage shot from mid range or better.
Well, if you just shoot 50% on those attempts, and in the NBA you should, then you easily win the game.
A great deal of attention is paid to the statistics on the occasion where shooting more from 3 wins the game, but absolutely no attention is given in the just as often , if not more, circumstance where shooting too much from 3 will lose the game.
It seemed like the officiating really got in RJ’s head in the second half. We saw him drive and through up wild, contested layups (that had not been part of his game since the RJennaissance of Game 3 vs. the Cavs) and turn to the refs after missing with a look of “how can you not call that?!” The same look he had after the dropped shoulder moving screen. RJ having the discipline to keep to his game plan--despite how he may feel about not getting calls that Jimmy gets--will be crucial especially if Ju isn’t 100%.
I don’t believe the Knickerbockers during the course of their history have ever won a playoff series when they lost the first game at home.
There’s a first time for everything though-make some damn shots!!
If the Knicks were a solar system, Julius is the big planet whose mass effects the orbit of all the surrounding worlds. Everything is off without his gravitational pull. Love him or hate him - it's true.
- Brunson and RJ both had selfish stretches that hurt the offense, and both let the refs get in their heads.
- Mitch was not good - losing that rebound to Lowry was the biggest play of the game, but he was already having a rough one prior to that.
- IQ was not good on either end.
- Fouls were 21-14 in favor of the road team.
And despite it all, if we shoot a slightly-less putrid percentage from three, and shoot an average percentage from the FT line, we come out with the win.
On one hand, feels like we let one slip away; on the other, correct ONE thing from the list above, and we go to Miami 1-1.
Glad you ended up giving Obi a star. The post-game commentary was getting a bit too negative for a player who played 30 minutes, was only player who made more than one 3, and had a +\- of 0.
I was too optimistic saying we would win in 5.
If he’s healthy, I would like Grimes to start. Hart has been fantastic but I feel like he gives us a great burst of energy changing the game coming off the bench.
If Randle’s able to come back and Mitch can’t dominate, would like to see some Randle at the 5 minutes.
Don’t see Brunson going 0-7 from 3 again.
Thibs seemed more terse than usual in his post game press conference. Probably means nothing other than annoyed over losing a very winnable game.
Going to the garden yesterday put me back to my youth of waiting to see frazier playing instead of saying. I can't criticize knicks gave me more joy than any team has in years but to watch OBI out in the corner the whole first half and barely getting the ball enough was not good. Brunson calling himself horrific is like Moses saying he can't part the waters. He gets a pass, no matter what he does. Beating Jimmy Butler without Julius is very tough but doable if everyone shoots properly. RJ has to realize when he goes cold just drive to the basket and get baskets that way not shoot from the outside. We've all been watching that all season, which is why some of the faithful still think he's useful trade bait over the summer. I hope I'm wrong in the long run, but if not, I'm not going to miss him that much. In Julius's absence, we need OBi and IQ to do what we've seen them do all year when they're hot. It will open up the inside and take the pressure off of Brunson which Julius usually does. But as Scarlet says, "tomorrow is another day."
If good (regular season/uninjured whatever) Julius Randle plays 35 mins in that game I think the Knicks win. If the Julius we’ve seen for most of the playoffs plays 35 mins that game the Knicks lose by 20. Regarding the impact of Randle’s presence: the team has been pretty poor offensively in the half court this post season. A lot of those mins were with Julius on the floor. They have been awful when Jalen Brunson isn’t on the floor. Julius hasn’t look to push the ball or done much to create pace when he’s played. Brunson playing better would have helped. Anyone making shots would have helped. I don’t see Randle helping unless he makes shots. His gravity might have created some open 3s but we had no issue finding and missing these w/o him. With regard to a potential cross match. I’m not sure it even happens. If I thought it was going unleash a dominate Mitchell Robinson I certainly wouldn’t cross match for a guy just returning from injury and shooting 30/20/70 in the playoffs before he makes a couple baskets. If they do cross match I don’t know if it makes a difference. Robinson’s impact offensively is mainly on the offensive glass. Love and Bam are both stout guys underneath and Robinson had 5 offensive rebounds. They would have been louder if we made shots after he got them. The team was in this game down the stretch and didn’t score for 5 mins. Brunson is our stretch offense and he came up empty. They also didn’t make any shots all game. Randle would have help if he made shots. Recasting him as an “intangibles” guy smell like fan fiction. He’s stopped being a guy that kills you when he isn’t good offensively and I’ll give him credit for that but he’s not a guy that saves you offensively w/o making shots when no one can hit a 3
Is IHart hurt? He got flipped on his back, was in pain, and I don’t think he played after that.
Also, I can’t complain about Thibs starting Hart over Grimes, but eventually Miami was treating Hart like Okoro. The combo of Obi and Hart on the floor together let Miami pack the paint way too much