The New York Knicks came into Los Angeles well-rested, but they still took a beating from Blake Griffin and the Clippers.
- Los Angeles Clippers 114 (42-29)
- New York Knicks 105 (27-43)
- NBA, Final, Box Score
- Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Derek Fisher is back in the building, but not as the head coach. Jackson’s failed protege was a part of the TNT analyst crew for Monday’s game meaning the last four New York Knicks head coaches were in attendance (Mike Woodson is an assistant with the Clippers).
New York had a three-day break entering Monday’s loss. The Knickerbockers looked like a team that came off a back to back game playing against Los Angeles. With 12 games to go, it’s looking ugly for the Knicks. It’s time to start the young players and shut down some of the older guys.
Kristaps Porzingis and Rose was right the chemistry isn’t there, and they showed it by tonight usual loss.
New York came out solid. The Knicks was matching every point the Clippers put up in the first quarter. The offense was balanced as everybody in the starting lineup scored. However, the defense is always the issue for the Knicks. New York held Los Angeles to under 30 points, but it was an efficient scoring first quarter, Los Angeles shot 50 percent as a team. Additionally, Los Angeles had a lot of points from phenomenal transition offense.
Porzingis is still showing his struggles on defending divine post-up power forwards as Griffin scores 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting against him in the first quarter. Jeff Hornacek had to go with Lance Thomas early in the first quarter for better defense. Hornacek made a bench change in the second quarter.
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Even though the second group gives the club some spark, they didn’t have an answer for the Los Angeles second unit in the second quarter. The Clippers bench scored 19 points against New York second unit to stretch the lead to 10. Los Angeles extended their first quarter 50 percent FG to 55 percent. The Clippers ended the night shooting 49.4 percent.
On the opposite end, the offense couldn’t make consistent baskets to keep up with the Clippers bench. Anthony led the Knicks scorers heading into halftime with 13 points. Blake Griffin led Los Angeles team with 20 points for the first half. Griffin ended the night with 30 points on 63% shooting.
Entering the third quarter, the Clippers kept their momentum going by stretching the led to 23 points off of Chris Paul back to back 3 pointers, Hornacek called a timeout and looked disgusted at his team. The continuity and chemistry still aren’t there for New York after 69 games. Los Angeles frontcourt was just too much for New York. Griffin and DeAndre Jordon 44 points as Griffin had 30 of the 44.
Carmelo Anthony stayed on the bench for the entire fourth quarter because the competition wasn’t up to par. Anthony ended the night win 16 points in 25 minutes. The Knicks’ second unit has cut a 25-point deficit to eight against the Clippers, but it was too much to come back from New York lost 114-105.
The bench used more of the triangle to cut the lead down. Shaquille O’Neal who was the analyst tonight did a great job letting us know why the bench players flourish in their role playing the triangle.
“Young Knicks maybe taking to the triangle better than the veterans because they don’t have habits that would prevent them from getting comfortable in it,” Shaq said.
As a Knicks fan, all you can do is just watch the team tank; New York might not be able to win +30 games because of their schedule for the next two weeks. There are only 12 games to go, and the Knicks will have the 8th pick if the season were to end today.
Up Next: Wednesday, March 22, at 10:30 pm ET against the Utah Jazz on ESPN
News: Kristaps Porzingis returned to the court from a contused left thigh, after missing the game against the Brooklyn Nets. He scored 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return.