Three games into the Eastern Conference Semifinals and the Knicks are currently down 1-2 following an embarrassing Game 3 loss. There are several reasons why New York is currently losing the series both from a coaching and player standpoint.
While aside from Game 3, the Knicks haven’t been too bad, there are certain aspects of the game that they have been lacking in big time.
These three stats are very crucial to the game and are things the Knicks cannot afford to continue being bad at if they want a chance to win this series. Erik Spoelstra has already taken advantage of these weaknesses and will continue to do so if New York doesn’t improve.
3 stats that help showcase why the Knicks are down in second-round playoff series
3. Julius Randle’s 36.4 FG% and 21.4 3PT%
While this stat can be taken with a grain of salt considering that Julius Randle has played in just two games this series and is possibly still dealing with his ankle injury, there are no doubts that he has been disappointing.
Spoelstra has been attacking Randle defensively in an almost perfect way. Not only has Bam Adebayo been his primary defender, but the Heat are consistently trapping Randle once he gets low, forcing him to make difficult decisions.
Again, Randle may still be dealing with an injury, however, that is no excuse for his incredibly poor decision-making so far in this series. Randle’s shot selection has been rather questionable and in Game 3 he made multiple poor decisions as a passer. He may have been good in Game 2, but the way Randle played in Game 3 is unacceptable for a player of his caliber and it has fans worried for the rest of this series.
Randle needs to slow it down and let the game come to him as opposed to forcing his offense like he did multiple times on Saturday. Hopefully, he figures things out in Game 4, because if he continues to play this poorly, the Knicks will likely lose the series rather quickly.