The New York Knicks fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in a performance that was nothing short of embarrassing. Despite a well-fought first half, the Knicks struggled in the second half and looked a different team after the halftime break. An injury-filled roster lacked Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, as well Austin Rivers. The game ended 89-109, with Julius Randle being the most impressive player on the court for New York.
Julius Randle continued his hot run of form with a commanding display this evening at the Mecca. He finished the game with 25 points, seven assists, on 73 percent from the field. He kept the ball moving and rarely forced shots. The power forward has continued to prove he is a more well-rounded player than he was the previous season. Fans will hope he can continue playing at this level to turn the Knickerbockers into a competitive team.
Along with Randle, Alec Burks put on a great performance in his second official Knick game against his former team in the 76ers. Despite not starting the game, he finished with 22 points, and 46 percent from the field. He was forced to organize the offense a significant amount of times due to point guard Elfrid Payton‘s poor decision making. Fans will hope he can receive his first start this Sunday against the Bucks after this commanding performance.
Worst Knicks Performers vs 76ers
Despite a great game in the season opener versus the Pacers on Wednesday, RJ Barrett wasn’t able to display a similar performance against the 76ers. The shooting guard struggled throughout the whole game and only made two shots from open play. Barrett had a lackluster performance and seemed out of rhythm throughout the whole game. Inconsistency was a looming issue for the Canadian his rookie year, and it seems this problem hasn’t been fixed. Barrett hasn’t been able to play great games day in day out from the Knicks, which has significantly yielded his progress. He finished the game 2 of15 or 13 percent from open play.
Elfrid Payton also struggled against a vigorous 76ers side. The point guard forced bad shots throughout the game and ended the game zero for six from all shots. Payton has seemed rather vulnerable since the season has started, and may not have an important role in the squad once Quickley is back from injury. Thibodeau was forced to keep Payton and give the point guard spot to Burks for a large part of the game due to Payton’s lack of aggressiveness.
Thibodeau Continues To Play Small-Ball At Various Points
During the Pacers game, as well as this one, Tom Thibodeau has attempted to play small-ball during the game. Alec Burks, RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock, Kevin Knox, and Julius Randle were a group that played together throughout multiple games. The coaching staff has opted to try this out when Mitchell Robinson was in foul trouble, and Nerlens Noel struggled. However, this group has struggled to prevent second-chance points for the opposition each time. First against Domantas Sabonis, and here against Joel Embiid, it seems small-ball has done nothing but make life difficult for the Knicks. Until Robinson can stay out of foul trouble, the Knicks will struggle later in games due to their lack of depth.
The Knicks continue their opening week with a difficult game against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Sunday. Barrett will surely need to put on a show if his team wishes to create a competitive game since Randle will undoubtedly struggle against the defensive player of the year Antetokounmpo.