Enes Kanter Steven Adams
Twitter, @nyknicks

A new starting lineup looked to push the pace but found a familiar result, as the New York Knicks lose on the road to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Geoffrey Campbell

  • New York Knicks 103 (4-11)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 128 (9-5)
  • NBA, East, Final Score, Box Score
  • Chesapeake Bay Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Woof. On a night where fan-favorite hall-of-famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier took a vacation night off, the New York Knicks were also nowhere to be found.

Head coach David Fizdale certainly didn’t envision Wednesday’s night performance after he inserted Emmanual Mudiay and Kevin Knox into the starting lineup. Prior to the game, Fizdale said that he wanted his team to push the tempo and improve their ball movement. He also called Mudiay the team’s “best passer”.

Mudiay, for his part, didn’t play badly. Defense has never been his forte, but he was aggressive in the first half, scoring seven points on three shots with two assists. Mudiay looked confident when he took his shots and had some nice drives to the hoop.

Knox led the Knicks in scoring at the end of the half with 10 points, scoring off drives and from the three-point line. Yet with all that said, the Knicks offense and energy just looked sub-par. There was little to no ball movement and very few possessions where the ball was moved side to side.

The defense was non-existent with Steven Adams showing Mitchell Robinson that he’s about 50 pounds away from being able to guard centers in the post. Paul George led all scorers with 18 points at the half.

In the second half, it was more of the same. The Knicks started off with some decent chemistry between Mudiay and Robinson. Tim Hardaway Jr. also got hot, and eventually finished the game with a team-high 20 points. But the story was the continuation of the PG13 show. George was a man on a mission, who got most of his 35 points in three quarters.

The Thunder were able to get any shot they wanted as they even had old friend Raymond Felton get some buckets against his old team. The only bright side seemed to be the play of Knox and Allonzo Trier. Knox was certainly not efficient, but he finished with 15 points and continues to get looks at different NBA defenses.

As he grows it will be interesting to see if his game mirrors the type of play synonymous with his counterpart George or perhaps Carmelo Anthony. Knox has the length, silky smooth shooting stroke and athletic ability to be a devasting two-way player in this league. Yet in the same breath, he has a tendency to hold the ball, overdribble and drives into traffic when there’s a teammate open for a pass.

The good thing about the NBA is that the Knicks have the chance to flush this loss away with their next game coming Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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