Knicks Keep It Close Against Warriors, Lose 112–105

After leading at the half, the Knicks falter late against the resurgent Warriors team, led by Steph Curry

Photo: Jim McIsaac

Okay, the Knicks kinda kept it close today. Yeah, it was against the Warriors, and yeah, it was against the Warriors without Durant, but this was a very solid super team against a shaky “super team.”

The Knicks played a fairly decent game against the struggling Warriors, but as usual, fell short. No matter how bronze the silver linings may be, there were a few takeaways from the contest.

Stuff That Happened

Curry was cold, then hot

The reigning MVP struggled early on, but when clutch time came he showed his true colors. Stephen Curry started pretty cold from three, but finished 4-of-9 in 37 minutes on 11-of-24 for total field-goals. Not a great game for the back-to-back MVP but the Knicks didn’t show much fight at times. A Kristaps on Curry slow-mo showed just how good he was and how much KP has to learn about defense in the NBA.

The Knicks tried on defense (mostly)

The Knicks showed some fight on defensive possessions during the game. However, although they showed effort, it was obvious that the team as a whole didn’t know how to play defense. The defensive rotations were late, but not too late like a bad defensive team would be. The communication on pick-and-roll defense was horrendous, and even when there was communication, the plan was outright horrible, and left room for the offense.

After most dead balls, the Knicks looked like they weren’t ready to play basketball. They could learn a lot from the football saying, “You’re on when the ball is off.” Meaning, not to relax just because the ball is out of play.

Surely, Hornacek knows that basketball is still going on in the sidelines.

KP had his moments

Sometimes, KP looked like he was lost. Other times, he looked like he was in his element. The flashes of greatness were there. Kristaps Porzingis showed off some really good moves, but he showed his lack of maturity as well. When he didn’t have back-to-back possessions of young greatness he looked like a young man who hadn’t played much organized basketball in his lifetime.

Still, he very much carried the team with Derrick Rose late in the game, giving Knicks fans something to look forward to.

Photo: Jim McIsaac

Things That Didn’t Happen

‘Melo saved the day

Nope, ‘Melo didn’t go into Hero Ball Mode and try to salvage the game when the lead got too deep late in the game. He ended at 6-for-12. This is uncharacteristic of him, since he was branded as being the ball-hog early in his career. This “average” performance by him might be signifying the lesser role he is preparing to take in the offense. Tonight, KP shot the most field-goals, and maybe everyone is fine with that.

Nevertheless, when playing a team like that, Knicks fans who aren’t endorsing the tank may welcome a comeback led by Captain America.

Willy gone wild

Willy Hernangómez looked pretty tame in his 14 minutes on the court but only on paper. The young big man was a part of some scrappy possessions and although he didn’t light up the scoreboard much, it was fairly comforting that he never gave up throughout the game. He finished with only eight points and five rebounds since KP started at center, but this minor setback in both minutes and production is only facilitated by minor injuries. Willy going hard in the paint will be back. Don’t worry.

While we can moan and gripe about a Knicks loss, why don’t we celebrate the tank going well? ‘Melo is taking a lesser role, KP is chucking up more shots, and The Bench ft. Ron Baker is playing okay.

The Knicks time to beat the other super teams may not be now, or tomorrow (or soon actually), but they’ve got a lot to look forward to if they can keep a game with the Warriors as close as 112–105.

Ty Jordan, site writer

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