new york knicks
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks fall to the Philadelphia 76ers in a gut-wrenching loss, but don’t push the panic button.

The New York Knicks are on a two-game losing streak, but there are reasons for optimism surrounding this team. They went toe-to-toe with the two best teams in the Eastern Conference and could have pulled out either game.

Tobias Harris led the way for the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, scoring 30 points with a few clutch buckets late. Julius Randle faded down the stretch, but he still put up 19 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists. Meanwhile, RJ Barrett continues to play well, tallying 17 points and eight rebounds.

Here are three highlights and three observations from New York’s 199-96 loss to Philly on Tuesday night.

Highlight 1: RJ Barrett Savvy

Highlight 2: Immanuel Quickley Floater

Highlight 3: Julius Randle Sags Off Seth Curry

Observation 1: Impressive Losses

The Knicks have lost two games in as many nights, but there is no reason for Knicks fans to panic. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has said that in the NBA you either win or you learn. The close losses against the Sixers and Nets, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, show that the Knicks are trending in the right direction.

Of course, both the Sixers and Nets were without their best players against the Knicks, but they are still two of the best teams in the NBA regardless. As Randle and Barrett gain experience in these types of games, the Knicks will be better off in the long run.

Observation 2: Missing Rose

The Knicks are a few Roses short of a bouquet right now. Actually, they are just missing one Derrick Rose. The Knicks yearn for the return of the veteran point guard to help bolster the offense. With Immanuel Quickley going to the starting lineup, the Knicks are rolling with a nine-man lineup.

Thibs is stretching Randle and Barrett for some extra minutes with the second unit, but it’s clearly taking a toll. There were missed free throws, careless turnovers, and lackadaisical defense down the stretch that could be attributed to fatigue. Randle in particular looked like his gas tank was on empty in clutch time.

When Rose makes his return, this will take some of the offensive responsibility off of the shoulders of Barrett and Randle.

Observation 3: The Streak Is Continues!

Ben Simmons continues his reign over the Knicks. He’s 13-0 all-time against the orange and blue with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Even without Embiid, Simmons was able to help power the Sixers past their Atlantic Division rivals.

Although Harris was the star for Philly, Simmons chipped in with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. The Knicks will have another shot to spoil Simmons’ perfect streak on Sunday, March 21 in Madison Square Garden.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.