Free throws are supposed to be free, but they continued to be a thorn in the New York Knicks’ side in their 108-104 opening night loss to the Celtics. New York missed 12 shots from the charity stripe and lost by four. You can do the math.
The Knicks took their first lead early in the fourth quarter off a Josh Hart three and led by as many as six but missed critical free throws down the stretch. Shooting 14-for-26 from the line isn’t the only reason New York lost (unfortunately, Kristaps Porzingis was also a factor), but it stood out the most. Just ask Ben Stiller.
The silver lining is that RJ Barrett, a 70.9% career free-throw shooter, shot 6-for-7 from the line. He said he worked on that weakness over the summer, which showed in the first regular season game.
Immanuel Quickly shot a respectable 5-for-6 from the line, while Julius Randle was New York’s worst shooter (1-for-5). If Randle would’ve hit the four attempts he missed, the game might’ve gone into overtime.
Knicks miss 12 free throws in four-point loss to Celtics on opening night
If you’re an NBA team that misses a dozen free throws, you don’t deserve to win a game. Still, the Knicks managed almost to do just that. If it weren’t for Kristaps Porzingis’ go-ahead three-pointer with 1:29 left to play, maybe this would be a different story.
Mitchell Robinson found himself in foul trouble and played in only 22 minutes compared to Isaiah Hartenstein’s 26, so his notoriously poor free-throw shooting wasn’t a huge factor. He did miss the two shots he attempted, though.
It’s only the first of 82 games, and New York fans are already pained by what should be the easiest way to score. Nothing with this team comes easy, but for the sake of the fan base, please try to hit your free throws.