New York Knicks Postgame
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks lost their seventh straight and 15th of their last 16 games as the Toronto Raptors sliced and diced their way to 132 points.

If nothing else, the New York Knicks are consistent. Sure, watching the games may be akin to watching Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, but you know exactly what you’re getting when you tune to MSG. Once again, the Knicks hung tough in the first half but were ultimately undone by their horrid defense.

What was once an eight-point deficit at the half, turned into a 26-point drubbing.

The final two possessions of the first half were evident of the Knicks’ struggles down the stretch of the season. Tim Hardaway Jr. looks for his shot in the final few seconds of the half. He eventually finds enough space to sink a fadeaway. This should have sent the Knicks into the locker room with momentum.

With mere seconds left, Kyle Lowry pushed the ball up the court with Frank Ntilikina stuck to him like glue. Inexplicably, Hardaway doubles off the corner man and allows Lowry to make the easy pass to the corner. Malcolm Miller buried the 23-footer and any momentum the Knicks had was gone.

It’s important to try and keep this loss in perspective. The Raptors are really good this year. Of course, the skeptics will say that they can’t turn this regular season success into postseason success. That may be true, but regardless, no one expected the Knicks to win today’s game.

While no one expected them to win tonight’s game, they need to turn in much better defensive efforts than this. Losing Kristaps Porzingis was clearly going to hurt them on the defensive end, but no one could have foreseen this dropoff.

The Knicks have only managed to hold an opponent under 100 points once since Porzingis was sidelined for the year. They held the Atlanta Hawks to 99 points in a loss.

The Knicks have lost 15 of their last 16 games. They are crawling towards better positioning in the lottery, but at what cost to the player development, team morale, and sanity of those who are still tuning into the game.

Trying to extract a positive from this game may be difficult, but let’s give it a shot. Luke Kornet got the first start of his short NBA career and he had a positive showing. Although there are definitely areas of improvement, Kornet scored 18 points and is showing his ability to stretch the floor on offense. He went 3-for-7 from deep. Kornet was filling in for Enes Kanter who was sidelined with back spasms.

 

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