By John Schmeelk
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Knicks followers are understandably upset after their group blew a 23-level, third-quarter lead in Monday night time’s 104-one hundred and one loss to the Cavaliers. However all the things that occurred within the recreation will function a beneficial studying expertise for a younger roster. It additionally confirmed coach Jeff Hornacek sure issues he has to observe for as this season progresses.
1. Kristaps Porzingis Gained’t All the time Be Nice
Alongside together with his poor recreation towards the Celtics very early within the season, this was a very dangerous recreation for Porzingis. He received into foul hassle early, shot simply 7-of-21, missed huge free throws on the finish of the sport and had defensive lapses within the ultimate minutes, permitting Channing Frye to hit an open three-pointer and Dwyane Wade to seize a key offensive rebound.
These video games are going to occur, and the Knicks have to study to outlive once they do. They did properly within the first half however struggled late once they continued to attempt to regularly isolate Porzingis within the submit when the Cavs have been both double-teaming him or LeBron James was defending him extraordinarily properly. They not often put him in movement off the ball to get him straightforward seems to be or used him in display-and-roll conditions. These are changes the Knicks should study to make.
2. A Staff Bonding Expertise
What occurred within the first half of the sport between James, Frank Ntilikina and Enes Kanter was much less a studying expertise and extra an indication at how shut this group is. James tried to intimidate Ntilikina by bodying him up after a missed basket. The 19-yr-previous rookie merely pushed James out of the best way earlier than Kanter obtained within the 4-time MVP’s face.
After the workforce had robust phrases defending Ntilikina over the weekend, they backed it up with motion on the courtroom. It’s an excellent signal that this group is basically enjoying for one another and has each other’s backs. They appear to genuinely like one another.
three. Don’t Take The Foot Off the Pedal
After enjoying with nice enthusiasm and focus for the higher a part of three quarters, the Knicks got here out with notably much less power as soon as they prolonged their result in 20 factors towards the top of the third quarter. New York’s protection lagged, and the Cavs obtained scorching from three-level vary. It must be a lesson that a 20-level lead, even early within the fourth quarter, isn’t protected in an NBA recreation.