Following their first loss in three games to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Knicks lost their second in a row on Sunday, this time falling to Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 121-108.
This was not a surprising loss, as we know how talented this Cavaliers squad is. However, there were far too many unacceptable moments to justify this loss.
The Knicks are currently at the beginning of a very rough stretch on their schedule, meaning they need to take any win they can get. To lose in the fashion they did is just flat-out not good at all. On Wednesday, the Knicks will face off against their rival, the Atlanta Hawks. This is a must-win game if New York wants to remain in a good position as the team goes through this tough stretch.
Regardless, this game had some promising moments, but for the most part, the Knicks were simply outplayed.
3 takeaways from the Knicks’ disappointing Sunday night loss to the Cavaliers
3: Donovan Mitchell made the Knicks regret not going all in on him
I’m not saying I would have given up the house for Donovan Mitchell, however, he certainly felt slighted by their reluctance to trade for him.
Against New York, Mitchell dropped 38 points, 12 assists, three rebounds, and two blocks while shooting 12-for-20 from the field and 8-for-13 from the field. Mitchell was truly dominant without his backcourt partner Darius Garland.
The Knicks had absolutely zero answers for Mitchell all night. Whether it was on the perimeter or in the paint, it didn’t matter. Mitchell scored with ease.
I can’t even blame the Knicks, as Mitchell was literally unstoppable. Personally, I’d have to say that starting out the game by having Evan Fournier guard him wasn’t a good idea at all, but we’ll get into that later.
The Knicks have had trouble slowing down their opponent’s best players this season, with Ja Morant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Mitchell all having masterclasses against the team.
This isn’t surprising, as this Knicks team is really not built to be sustainably good on defense, which makes me want to hope the team will have a solution for this. Whether it is a trade or a change in the rotation, something needs to happen to fix New York’s defense.