The New York Knicks suffered yet another heartbreaking defeat, losing to the Charlotte Hornets.
The New York Knicks had their fourth win of the season in sight, including holding a double-digit point lead. However, a second-half comeback, led by Devonte Graham, brought the Charlotte Hornets their sixth victory at 103-102.
Where did it go wrong for the Knicks? What’s next after their 10th loss of the 2019-20 campaign?
Devonte’ Graham lights it up
For all the opposing players to have their night at Madison Square Garden, Devonte’ Graham squeezed in with nine three-pointers for 29 points on 10-for-19 shooting. No one, not even Frank Ntilikina, could stop him, as Charlotte’s rising star continued his early candidacy for Most Improved Player.
Backcourt players have cooked the Knicks all season, whether it was Kemba Walker, Luka Doncic, Coby White or De’Aaron Fox. There have been no answers to alleviate this, either, and the Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton, who torched the Knicks for 31 points on Nov. 10, will get another crack at it on Monday.
This was New York’s game into the third quarter, including holding a 15-point lead. All seemed well until Graham and others’ contributions tightened the scoring margin. Plus, the Knicks lost the paint, removing Mitchell Robinson‘s previously forceful impact on the game.
This was a game in the Knicks’ hands to give them a winning streak. Instead, they have another long 48 hours to ponder before the Cleveland game.
Why was RJ Barrett out of the game?
As for the end, the Knicks had a chance to win, owning the game’s final possession. Fizdale ran a play from the sidelines, which, of course, did not work.
Curiously, however, RJ Barrett was removed from the court for Wayne Ellington, who had not played all night and had a combined eight minutes in the previous four games. The veteran guard may have been a decoy, but Barrett and his 16 second-half points left the court as the Knicks’ hottest player. Fizdale may want to have that one back.
The calm before the storm
This was not only a blown chance at this season’s first winning streak, but to take advantage of a soft part of the schedule, especially when the next three weeks of play features a brutal slate of games against the following teams:
- Philadelphia 76ers (twice)
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Denver Nuggets
- Indiana Pacers
- Portland Trail Blazers
The New York Knicks may sneak a win somewhere amongst that group, but they have an uphill battle ahead. Striking against Charlotte could have softened the blow, so there is one more opportunity to do so before the difficulty level skyrockets.