The New York Knicks put on a disappointing performance to bring their losing streak to three. Nothing seemed to click offensively and Tom Thibodeau‘s men have shown there is still much room for improvement. Kevin Knox‘s impressive display was the only positive to take from a game that fans will hope to forget. The game ended 88-109, as Kevin Knox and Gordon Hayward were the leading scorers for their respective teams. Here are the takeaways.
Knox Puts On A Great Performance
Kevin Knox came off the bench today and added a massive boost of energy. He ended the game with 19 points, five rebounds, and seven of 17 from the field. He played aggressive defense and played his best game this season. If he can consistently put on performances similar to the one in Charlotte, he’ll be a vital piece off the bench for the Knicks.
The Knicks Need Three-Point Shooting
Finishing nine of 38 from downtown, it’s clear that three-point shooting is a clear flaw in this side. Players including RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Elfrid Payton are all known for being great at driving in and passing out once they draw defenders. Despite Kevin Knox’s brilliant 19 points, primarily from deep, there wasn’t enough firepower from three. When Alec Burks returns from injury, many will be able to play off him successfully. However, a timetable on his return is still nowhere to be found, and the small forward could be on the bench for a while.
Teams continue to play a zone defense against the Knicks successfully. Due to their poor three-point shooting, they often struggle to convert from deep. Thibodeau’s team will need to learn to respond positively when shown zone defense. Until then, they’ll be forced to allow zero margins of error on the defensive end to create wins.
The Team Struggles On Defense
Although the Knicks have struggled to find a rhythm on offense all season long, this was their first unimpressive performance defensively. They seemed lackluster and tired on defense. The gritty nature that has been adopted by Thibodeau wasn’t on display against Gordon Hayward and the Hornets tonight. If the Knicks can’t count on their strong defense, they will undoubtedly need to adjust their offense to succeed.
The Knicks head to Brooklyn to take on Kevin Durant and the Nets on Wednesday. This will be a big game for the Knickerbockers who will look to snap their losing streak. The Nets have been underwhelming this season, and are currently 5-6 and tenth in the East.