New York Knicks: Two overtimes too many in frustrating loss

The New York Knicks fell to the Chicago Bulls in double overtime, 116-115.

Two overtimes, turnovers, fouls, and head-scratching play highlighted the Monday night affair between the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls. Both teams struggled to muster offense for most of this game, and it resulted in a free throw, seemingly before a third overtime, that sealed the deal.

Zach LaVine and his 41 points on 13-for-25 shooting led the way for Chicago, 116-115, to cement one of the NBA’s most interesting games of 2018-19.

It was a unique night for the Knicks, in general. No Tim Hardaway Jr., Kevin Knox returned, Allonzo Trier made his first career start, and the opening lineup had an average age of 21.8.

What transpired in this wild game at Madison Square Garden? Even in defeat, there were takeaways:

Allonzo Trier recovers from shooting woes

Earning his first career start, Allonzo Tried was bombarded with double-teams from the usually defensively-inept Bulls. It was the first time anyone game-planned for him, and it showed for the first three quarters.

The 22-year-old standout was 0-for-5 entering the final period, either shooting in traffic or never finding an opening. It worked for a while, until he went on a fourth-quarter run to push the Knicks into double overtime.

Helped by the extra time, Trier finished with 21 points on 5-for-15 shooting and a perfect 9-of-9 on free throws. If Hardaway returns Wednesday, the formerly undrafted free agent should move back to the bench.

Lost confidence

Frank Ntilikina had two terrific games to close October, with a combined 33 points on 6-of-12 shooting. While not officially proven, it seemed to be the next step in his offensive development.

Since this mini-run, the Frenchman has shot 23 percent and 0-for-13 from behind the arc. Each attempt seemed well short against Chicago, and this limited impact forced him to the bench in favor of Emmanuel Mudiay.

Not so fast on removing Ntilikina from the starting lineup, however. It’s a development year and players as young as him (still just 20-years-old) will have growing pains. Patience is a virtue, folks.

A model of consistency

Enes Kanter and Damyean Dotson were, frankly, excellent in this chaotic game. Neither could do enough to put the Knicks over the top, but their respective performances were terrific, including a dominant 23 points, 24 rebounds and 5 assists from the Turkish center and 18 points on 50 percent shooting from the second-year pro.

Knicks head coach David Fizdale played Kanter 40 minutes to Mitchell Robinson‘s 11. Probably a one-game-only situation since they were in need of offense in a spiraling second and third quarter, but don’t expect the former’s minutes load to change anytime soon.

Next: 25 greatest players in franchise history

Dotson may lose playing time to Kevin Knox out of necessity. Though, he’s done little, if anything, to deserve it. There’s a role for him, either way.