Allonzo Trier and the Knicks fall to the Bulls in double OT last night at The Garden. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The Knicks played hard and showed a lot of fight last night against the Chicago Bulls but we couldn’t seal the deal in double overtime, falling 116-115.
It was a sluggish performance from both teams until the fourth quarter got underway. The halftime score was tied at 47 and had me having memories of Bulls/Knicks clashes during the 90’s with Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing roaming the hardwood.
Zach Lavine led all scores with a career high 41 points. He was basic unguardable all night, with everyone taking their chance at keeping him from getting to the whole or pulling up from long-range.
Lavine shot 52% from the field, including 40% from deep. His eight turnovers was the one sore spot in otherwise a good game.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Enes Kanter came off the bench in what seems to be Coach Fizdale’s preferred role for him and tallied 23 points and 24 rebounds in 40 minutes. He had his way on the offensive glass, grabbing 9 and literally doing whatever he chose against 19-year old rookie big Wendell Carter Jr.
Rookie Allonzo Trier shook off a poor first 36 minutes, to score 21 points with most coming in the 4th quarter and overtime. It was his first career start and you can tell that he had his jitters. But also, Iso Zo was game planned against, with the Bulls coming out in the first quarter doubling Trier off of the screen so he couldn’t drive.
Second-year guard Damyean Dotson was only 2 of 7 from deep but ended the night with 18 points and ‘Super Mario’ Hezonja chipped in with 15 points while being aggressive most of the night.
The biggest surprise of the night was the play of combo guard Emmanuel Mudiay. He led all players in plus/minus with a +17. He scored 16 off the bench and seemed to bring the energy back to the team during a stretch in the 4th quarter when most of us was wondering why he still was on the floor.
But again, Mudiay erased all the good he did with a bonehead foul with 0.2 seconds remaining in double overtime that sent Lavine. an 85% free throw shooter, to the line with only needing to make one.
Frank Ntilikina was again a no-show in his 16 minutes of play. He went 0-6 from the field and only chipped in with 2 assist. I’m not sure where his confidence went, but he needs to find it and soon.
The Bulls aren’t a team destined to make the playoffs this season and it looked that way for most of the game with both teams playing sloppy and combining for 36 turnovers. This was a game that we should have won and with experience our younger players will learn how to close out games like this.
But it was a learning experience for Trier, Dotson, Coach Fizdale and the rest of the young Knicks. Heading to Atlanta to play the Hawks who we beat opening night on Wednesday, hopefully with a day off, we can get back into the swing of things and get that energy back. But we are in desperate need of a W now. Hopefully, tomorrow night we can end this skid.
Player Of The Game:
Zach Lavine scored a game high 41 points on 13 of 25 shooting from the floor. He was 4 of 10 from deep and 11 of 14 from the charity stripe.
Play of the Game:
Although it didn’t win us the game, this play in the first quarter by Allonzo Trier sparked us and got us going after a sluggish start.
(NBA Goat TV/Youtube)
We head down to Atlanta for our second match-up against Trae Young and the Hawks. The Knicks won last game at The Garden, 126-107 behind 31 points from Tim Hardaway Jr.