Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Knicks takeaways from Wednesday’s 110-96 loss to Heat, including ineffective starters


Knicks RJ Barrett lay up Mitchell Robinson Heat blue jersey

Knicks RJ Barrett lay up Mitchell Robinson Heat blue jersey

After falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the Knicks lost 110-96 to the Miami Heat on Wednesday in Miami.

Prior to the game, coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed Mitchell Robinson was available after missing the last game with an ankle sprain. Nerlens Noel, however, missed Wednesday’s game with a sore knee. The starting five against Miami included Kemba Walker, RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Robinson and Julius Randle.

Here are the takeaways….

– The start of the game was stopped after the tip because the clock wasn’t working, which could be said about the Knicks in the first quarter. The Heat went out to a 13-2 run thanks to poor Knicks defense and having no answer for Miami’s swarming defense.

Alec Burks hit a three before the end of the first quarter to end a Heat 6-0 run and enter the second frame down 30-16. Despite the low score, the Knicks shot 40 percent but they turned the ball over five times leading to many easy buckets for Miami – who shot 55 percent. Barrett led the Knicks with six points in the quarter while Randle had four points despite being double teamed on just about every possession.

Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Taj Gibson and Burks started the second quarter. This unit started on a 7-2 run, but a missed lay up by Burks on a fast break led to a three-pointer from Tyler Herro swung the momentum back to Miami who led 38-23 with nine minutes remaining.

Better defense and superb shooting by Barrett helped the Knicks cut the deficit to 10 with five minutes to go, but a 10-0 run by Miami extended the Heat’s lead to a game-high 20 to this point. However, in the final two minutes, the Knicks went on a 7-1 run to head into halftime down 59-46.

Barrett led the Knicks in scoring with 13 points at halftime on 5-of-8 shooting (3-of-4 from three). As a team, the Knicks are 10-of-23 from three, but New York had nine turnovers in the half and shot just 2-of-7 from the free-throw line.

– Miami’s hot shooting continued to start the third as they went on a 9-0 run to increase their lead to 22. Despite the Heat turning over the ball – 12 at this point in the game – the Knicks could not take advantage as Miami, especially Jimmy Butler, had their way with New York’s defense.

The Knicks trailed by as many as 30 points in the third quarter and entered the final frame down 92-67. The Knicks shot just 32 percent while Miami was an efficient 56 percent in the quarter. After Barrett was the only Knick in double-figures at halftime, Randle and Quickley joined him with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

– After ending the third quarter on the floor, the Knicks’ second unit began the fourth against Miami’s bench. With 10 minutes to go, and down by 23, Cam Reddish subbed in for the first time. The second unit went on a 6-0 run to force a timeout by Miami.

Robinson was the only starter who played in the fourth quarter. He and the second unit kept the deficit to under 20 points, but they could not string together runs to make Miami sweat. In the increased minutes, Toppin led the team with 18 points. Reddish, in the most minutes he’s received since becoming a Knick, scored six points in 10 minutes.

– For the Knicks starters, Barrett had 17 points in 24 minutes while Randle had just 11 in 27 minutes and 5-of-12 shooting. Fournier and Walker had just seven points each and made just four shots combined. Every starter’s plus/minus ranged from -18 to -36.


What’s next

The Knicks travel to Milwaukee to face the defending champion Bucks on Friday at 10 p.m.


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