New York Knicks reach a new low in loss to Toronto Raptors (Highlights)
Jan 15, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) and New York Knicks forward Kyle O'Quinn (9) react differently after a Toronto basket in the third quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks were shorthanded against their rival Toronto Raptors, but that was no excuse for the pathetic effort they put forth.

  • Toronto Raptors 116 (27-13)
  • New York Knicks 101 (18-23)
  • NBA, Box Score, Final
  • Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada
New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose met with head coach Jeff Hornacek about the struggling defense. After pulling a Ferris Bueller, Rose told his coach he needs to be harder on the team. Not surprisingly, the former MVP invoked the name, Tom Thibodeau when discussing what his new team should aspire to.

After a player meets with his coach to specifically discuss defense it’s only natural that the team would come out focused on that end of the court, right? Well, not this team. Either the team has already tuned Hornacek out or as the coach candidly put it, “[They] just must not be good enough defensively.”

Whatever the problem is (Hornacek certainly doesn’t know), the Knicks reached a new low on Sunday afternoon in Toronto when they were down as many as 38 points in a humiliating defeat.

They gave up 69 points in the first half and scored just 8 points in the entire third quarter before Hornacek benched his starters the final twelve minutes. The bench made the score appear closer than it actually was.

Kyle Lowry (16 points, 9 assists) and DeMar DeRozan (23 points, 5 assists) did whatever they wanted in the paint and Terrence Ross made 4-6 from three-point range.

Without Lance Thomas, who left the game after taking an elbow to face in the first quarter, Mindaugas Kuzminskas played 23 minutes and he struggled on defense.

At least Kuz was trying, though. You can’t say that about the rest of the team.

Mike Breen and Clyde Frazier were openly criticizing the team’s lack of effort on defense (Carmelo Anthony in particular) with Breen summing up the game perfectly.

Via Ian Begley of ESPN New York:

That’s how bad things have been, a game when the Knicks let the opponent shoot 49 percent from the field and score 66 points in the paint isn’t the unanimous choice for worst loss of the season. That dud against Cleveland when a water bottle played better defense against LeBron James is probably the worst.

With Kristaps Porzingis, their best interior defender, out with a sore Achilles the Knicks embarrassed themselves on both ends of the court. This team has quickly learned that talent isn’t enough to win in the NBA.

Their communication on defense is virtually non-existent. It doesn’t appear that Carmelo Anthony doesn’t care. It’s obvious he doesn’t. When your star player exudes that kind of effort on defense, what chance do you have?

Next up: The Knicks are back at home tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 16, vs. the Atlanta Hawks at 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

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