NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 29: Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks celebrates as the game ends against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden on February 29, 2020 in New York City.The New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 125-115.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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The New York Knicks looked to forget two straight bad losses with a quick trip to Charlotte. The gifs have the scoop!

Josh Benjamin

The New York Knicks hoped a change of scenery would make things better.

After two straight bad losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, perhaps the Charlotte Hornets would break New York’s cold shooting. They rank 24th in the league in scoring, whereas the Knicks rank 29th. Surely, the Knicks’ Top 5 defense would win out?

So just what happened in the Queen City? Did RJ Barrett’s shooting woes finally cease? Did Julius Randle have another great game?

Gifs, take it away!

 

1st quarter: Cold night in Carolina

Charlotte led 31-25 after the first quarter, but that score is misleading. Seriously, it wasn’t as close as it implies.

First, the New York Knicks again struggled to make shots despite some good looks. The Hornets, meanwhile, opened the game on a 10-0 run. The Knicks trimmed the lead as the quarter wound down, but still stumbled to shooting 42.1% as a team. Still, closing on an 11-0 run was nice.

In other news, Julius Randle and Austin Rivers lead with seven points each, but Randle is already in foul trouble. RJ Barrett has yet to score a point, and nor has LaMelo Ball. This could be a long one, folks.

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Halftime report: Where’s the defense?

The Knicks trailed 57-50 at halftime, and that’s probably closer than the game has any business being. Once again, New York struggled from three and shot just 28.6% from long range in the first half.

Oh, and let’s not forget Gordon Hayward. The New York Knicks could not defend him at all as he scored 28 points in the half. Yes, he has nearly 50% of Charlotte’s total offense.

The New York Knicks, meanwhile, committed ten turnovers and committed way too many fouls. Were the referees a bit trigger happy with the whistle? Maybe, but it doesn’t matter. The Knicks looked too flustered too often at key points.

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3rd quarter: Ice cold continuity

Mind you, this game isn’t wasn’t a garden variety uninspired performance from the New York Knicks. The team did get some open looks despite being severely hampered by the Hornets’ zone defense. The shots simply didn’t fall.

Of course, this proved a big problem for the Knicks. Charlotte Outscored them 25-18 in the third, and New York was shooting just 40% from the field through three.

The good news was the Knicks trailed 82-68 after three, so they still had a chance. The bad news is the gif for this quarter is a ’90s reference nobody EVER wants.

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4th quarter: Circus in Charlotte

Things I would rather do than go to the circus:

  • Get a tooth pulled
  • Watch Howard the Duck on a 24-hour loop
  • Be chased through Madison Square Garden by Lavar Ball.

Unfortunately, the New York Knicks couldn’t prevent tonight’s game from turning into a circus in the fourth quarter. The team closed the gap here and there, but timely shots by Charlotte made it a quick blowout. The officiating was also a factor, with the Knicks getting whistled for 23 fouls compared to 13 for the Hornets.

It was just a bad night. The Knicks shot an ugly 40% from the field and 24.3% from three. The 109-88 loss probably should have been worse.

Thus, a clownish performance gets a clownish gif.

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Player of the Game: Mitchell Robinson

Thankfully, the New York Knicks can always look forward to Mitchell Robinson’s marked improvement. The seven-footer dominated tonight with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and a pair of blocks in 33 minutes. He also made all five of his shots, missing none.

Why can’t the rest of the team be like Mitch?

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