Knicks’ Defensive Struggles Continue In Close Loss Versus Bulls

The New York Knicks lose their first of two against the Bulls in a heartbreaker in Chicago. A close game in which the Knicks seemed to just be keeping up, ended with a disappointing end to the game. Julius Randle, 23 points, and Lauri Markkanen, 30 points, led the scoring for their respective teams. Here are the key moments and takeaways in New York’s 102-110 loss to the Bulls.

Knicks defensive woes continue

New York seemed almost lackadaisical defensively tonight. Due to foul trouble Mitchell Robinson was off the court for the majority of the game. In his place, Nerlens Noel wasn’t able to keep the defense stable. The paint was often open as Chicago flourished offensively for the majority of the game. Lauri Markkanen played an impressive game offensively and was able to successfully spread the floor throughout the game. Tom Thibodeau’s men will need to fix their problems defensively soon as their defense is what has brought them to where they are now.

New York goes cold from three

As Markkanen and Zach LaVine continued to shoot well from three, the Knicks struggled to make their own shots from deep tonight. Finishing 6/29, the Knickerbockers were unable to even the score for large periods of time due to their shooting. Julius Randle did well in passing out and giving his teammates open looks however not many were able to convert their shots. New York is clearly missing the high-quality shooters that are needed to create wins. Until they make move for a more consistent three-point shooter, New Yorkers shouldn’t expect great shooting performances from their team.

Top performers

Julius Randle played an impressive game once again. Finishing with 23 points, eleven rebounds, and seven assists, his case for being an all-star is increasing every game. He has been driving into the paint with ease and has continued to shoot well from the perimeter.

Alec Burks played his best game since coming back from injury with 16 points on 50% FG. He’s done well off the bench and his spacing has helped the Knicks tremendously. The forward out of Colorado has slowly come back to the way he played early in the season. If he continues in this form, he’ll surely be replacing Reggie Bullock as the starter soon.

Immanuel Quickley‘s case to become the starting point guard is getting stronger each game. The rookie looks aggressive and has played with a high-energy style. His three-point shooting has looked good and the Kentucky guard’s confidence is growing rapidly. Quickley played the bulk of the minutes in the point guard spot and looks like he is becoming Thibodeau’s go-to player over Elfrid Payton.

The Knicks will remain in Chicago and play the Bulls once again on Wednesday. They’ll be playing with a chip on their shoulder and will undoubtedly look hungrier than they did tonight.

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