Although they held a double-digit second half lead, head coach Derek Fisher let down his New York Knicks in a major way Wednesday night.
New York Knicks 93 (4-5)
Charlotte Hornets 95 (4-4)
Full Game Box Score
Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
By Robby Sabo
The only reason New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher will be hovering under the radar after his team’s 95-93 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, is because of the (almost) buzzer beater Kristaps Porzingis buried. It was so feel-good it still has everybody in a frenzy.
In anything but a fairytale ending for New York, the red light went on while the ball was still attached to the young Latvian’s long fingertips.
The Knicks blew a double-digit second half lead resulting in the 95-93 heartbreaking loss.
— NBA (@NBA) November 12, 2015
After three quarters of solid play the Knicks led by 10. The 4th quarter became their kryptonite, as Charlotte outscored them 26-14.
Fisher pushed all the wrong buttons in that final frame.
First and foremost, if he had challenged the time left on the clock after Cody Zeller’s game-winning bucket down low, his Knicks would be walking out of Charlotte with a victory. Instead of .6 seconds, there easily could’ve been .8 if the second-year head coach challenged the clock with the refs.
Witnessing time get added to the clock after the ball goes through the hoop happens all the time. Fisher, instead, remained quiet.
Worse than that, was his personnel use during crunch-time. For some ungodly reason, he continues to use Jose Calderon down the stretch. Anybody who has a decent sense of defense in basketball understands this is a killer move.
By using Calderon instead of Jerian Grant or Langston Galloway, New York automatically puts a lesser squad on the floor when it doesn’t have to.
One of the major positives coming from the loss happened to be Arron Afflalo, who made his Knicks debut and poured in 12 points on 6-of-13 shooting while collecting six rebounds. Carmelo Anthony shot better in this one, as opposed to his season average. His 12-of-25 efficient night led to a team-high 29 points.
Of course, the story came down to Porzingis coming oh so close to hero status. As you can tell from the following photo, however, the officials made the correct call:
For the Hornets, Jeremy Lin came off the bench and impressed yet again. He collected a big 17 points on an incredible 7-of-11 from the field, including this tough shot late in the game:
Instead of improving to 5-4 and winning their third straight, the Knicks fall to 4-5. They’ll continue the road trip in Cleveland on Friday night.
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