Marcus Morris, Markelle Fultz
AP Photo/John Raoux

After a thrilling win in Madison Square Garden on Monday, the New York Knicks fall to the defensive-minded Orlando Magic.

  • New York Knicks 83 (1-4)
  • Orlando Magic 95 (2-2)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Amway Center, Orlando, FL

The Orlando Magic aren’t the flashiest group of guys, but their defense will grind out plenty of victories this season. The New York Knicks were able to match the intensity for much of the game.

However, the Knicks fell victim to another fourth-quarter collapse. Bobby Portis drilled a three off of a Frank Ntilikina pass to give the Knicks an 80-79 lead with about eight minutes left to play.

From that point forward, the Knicks were outscored 16-3. This disappointing fourth quarter was eerily reminiscent of the losses to the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.

Once again, the ball sticks too much with Julius Randle and Marcus Morris on the floor. Although Ntilikina played well during his early minutes, he wasn’t taking charge of the offense and keeping things organized late.


“When the ball stops moving for us it’s death,” Fizdale told reporters after the game.

Too often, the Knicks fall into the trap of giving one guy the ball and everyone else finds a spot at the three-point line. That should improve with more games, but it’s putting the Knicks in an early hole this season.

To be fair, Orlando was eighth in defensive rating last season and they might be even better this season with the continued development of Jonathan Isaac. The Magic held the Knicks to 37.8% shooting from the floor and 22.6% from deep.

The Knicks will experience their fair share of ups and downs this season. Monday’s win over the Chicago Bulls showcased New York at their best, but the fourth quarter in Orlando showcased them at their worst.



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