New York Knicks: Troubling numbers from first preseason loss

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks fell flat in Friday’s preseason loss to the Washington Wizards. How low did they fall, though?

From playing well in the preseason opener to the events of the follow-up against the Washington Wizards, the New York Knicks played like two different teams. A 114-99 loss on Friday, Oct. 11, sunk the previously built momentum, with a disastrous game at both ends of the court.

Elfrid Payton

For someone Daily Knicks just profiled as David Fizdale’s guy at point guard, this game but anything but positive for Elfrid Payton. In 25 minutes, he failed to score on nine attempts, had eight rebounds, just two assists and a -24 plus-minus, which was, by far, the team’s worst number.

Dennis Smith Jr. did not play, but he now has every chance to win the point guard job in the final two preseason games. Payton did nothing to prove himself, and the first game showed little, as well.

Foul woes

For everything Mitchell Robinson went through with foul trouble, Friday’s game did nothing to deter that weakness in his game. With five personal fouls, the second-year center played just 10 minutes, finishing with three points, three rebounds and zero blocks.

Not far behind him, Frank Ntilikina, playing for his fourth-year option and at the heart of more trade rumors, also had five fouls in 19 minutes. 2-for-7 shooting for five points does not help his case, either, but an even plus-minus and a 92.7 defensive rating are the only silver linings to take away from this.

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Otherwise, there was Bobby Portis‘ four fouls, troubling defense, and 3-for-9 shooting. He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, but seven of those points came from the free throw line and none of them from behind the arc.


Per NBA Advanced Stats, the Knicks fell apart in three beyond-the-box-score numbers:

  • Offensive Rating: 92.5
  • Defensive Rating: 108.5
  • Assists-to-Turnovers: 0.91

Allonzo Trier and Marcus Morris were the only players with an offensive rating above 100. No one else was higher than 92.6, highlighting a troubling night.

Morris and Ntilikina were the only players with a sub-100 defensive rating. Six players had a mark above 110.

As a team, 23 turnovers to 21 assists is arguably the most disparaging of all. Ball control did not exist except for Wayne Ellington‘s five assists to zero turnovers.

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The loss goes beyond these figures, but the New York Knicks have two games to figure out where they stand entering the 2019-20 season. The next preseason matchup is on Wednesday, Oct. 16, against the Atlanta Hawks.