NY Knicks: Critical flaw on offense exposed by Lakers

RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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NY Knicks
Julius Randle, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Knicks will finish their gauntlet West Coast road trip with a record of 3-3. Still, Tuesday night’s overtime loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers has left a sour taste.

It was a game that slipped away. A game that was very much played in the physical style the NY Knicks prefer to play. A rare 2021 overtime game where the score was just 101-99. This was a grueling duel where every pass, dribble, and rebound was tightly contested.

It was a game that was well within reach for New York, but they couldn’t close it out. The team led the game 89-84 with just 4:13 left on the clock. Missed shots in the dying seconds by both Julius Randle and RJ Barrett are the most painful moments to the point to. While those failed attempts occurred during the most critical possessions of the game, they were actually indicative of a much bigger problem.

NY Knicks: Attacking and finishing at the rim must improve

For a team that has been so efficient shooting the ball, it’s been hard to criticize the Knicks’ offense given the improvements they’ve already made late in the season. I wrote an article just yesterday about how they still seem to be an underrated shooting team.

The Lakers were clearly paying attention. The game was close and could have gone either way, but the Lakers’ game plan was to take away New York’s shooting, and it was effective. New York is almost better and putting the ball in the hoop from 25 feet than they are from 1 foot away.

Before we get into what Los Angeles did, let’s look at the Knicks’ season-long struggles around the cup.