Well, that was weird and I hated it. A lot. Typically, games that start at the dreaded 12:30 PM slot are just that: weird. Today, we witnessed two Knicks franchise record ties within 30 minutes of each other — points scored in a quarter, then points given up in a quarter. While the Knicks offense is improving under coach Mike Miller, their defense continues to be an eyesore, as the Clippers shot their best three-point percentage of the season, had three players score 30+ (first time in franchise history for LA), and came back from a 16 point first quarter deficit as easily as if they were buttering bread. Even after giving up 45 points in the first quarter, and letting a double-digit lead dwindle in a disjointed, foul-heavy, lethargic fourth quarter, this game never seemed out of hand or like LA was going to lose. These are the Knicks we are talking about after all.
First, the positives. The Clippers are able to out-talent pretty much any team in the league. When you have three players score 30+ points, without your best player even being on the court, that’s impressive. While LA continues to look like they are coasting for too long, they are able to flip a switch when needed just based on having better players on the floor the majority of the time. LA also shot the ball well from everywhere, including 56.3% from three.
Individually, the big three of the night — PG, Lou and Trezz — absolutely showed out. All three had 30+, which was nice to see, especially with how cold Lou and PG have been from the outside. PG fouling out with seven minutes left in the fourth was annoying though, as it led to many Knicks points without his defense present.
It’s more of the same as far as flaws in the Clipper arsenal. Too many unforced, silly turnovers, too much iso ball from Lou and PG (although, with the way they were shooting tonight who cares), lackadaisical defensive effort for long stretches of time, and rotational ills. There should be no wondering why players set career highs against LA. Also, there should be no wondering why players that have been going through droughts or are under-regarded, go off against the Clippers. It’s an effort thing. The Clippers give up WAY too many open threes, which lets teams get in quick rhythms, which then gives them momentum and energy and thus L’s or close win’s against teams that shouldn’t be close. Guys like Marcus Morris (who the Clippers should absolutely target via trade) and RJ Barrett tonight and Jae Crowder and Dillon Brooks yesterday consistently look like All-Stars against the Clippers. The open shot affliction happened again tonight and it almost turned into disaster. LA should wash this game from their memories forever and move on. So should all of us to be honest.
As far as the Knicks are concerned, they look like a whole new team with Mike Miller and it’s pretty awesome to see. Defense is still a concern, but that’s what happens when you sign four power-forwards in the offseason and you are missing Elfrid Payton. Belief in Julius Randle should be restored, every contending team should be calling the Knicks front-office about trading for Mook, and Barrett is going to be the real deal. If it wasn’t for 13 missed free-throws, they would have easily won this game. Honestly, I like watching them.
What did you all think about this abomination of an NBA game?