In my last article, I wrote about the Knicks’ strong 5-3 start, and in a blink of an eye, the Knicks are back to their roots of being below .500. The Knicks have dropped the last three games, and worse, have scored less than 90 points in all three of those games. Let’s take a look to see what has been the issue with the Knicks this past week:
Injuries: Injuries have been a huge factor for the Knicks throughout the whole season. Rivers was out for a couple of games, Quickley and Toppin got hurt the first game, and Burks, Ntilikina, Noel, and Bullock have had injuries already. The Knicks have not had one game with their presumed 10 man rotation (Payton, Quickley, Barrett, Rivers, Bullock, Knox, Randle, Obi, Mitch, and Noel), so Thibodeau has been forced to play smaller rotations. The lack of shooting on our team really hurts us, and especially because most of our pure shooters have been hurt, specifically Burks, it has been hard for the Knicks to find an offensive groove.
RJ Barrett: RJ has had a rough three games. It could be because he is averaging the most MPG to start the season, but his shot is simply not falling. RJ doesn’t have a bad looking shot, however, he has had a tough time shooting the ball to start the season. Barrett is going to need to find his touch soon, or else he will slowly start to get the Payton treatment (teams let him shoot and focus on containing him in the paint), and that would hurt RJ’s game even more.
Over-Passing: The Knicks are not full of shooters, however, when you get an open look, you have to take it. When you start to over-pass, the defense knows you are afraid to shoot, and they will then let you shoot, leading to a bunch of bricks. The Knicks need to be confident and let the ball fly, to show teams that we can shoot so it isn’t as easy to contain us.
Lack of Guard Talent: This one is pretty obvious, but the Knicks just don’t have talented guards. Usually, guards facilitate your offense, and because either Payton or rookie Immanuel Quickley is taking the ball up, it is hard for the Knicks to find an offensive groove as both have had a hard time on the offensive side of the ball as of late.
The Knicks have a big game against the Nets tomorrow, so hopefully, they can get back on track and give Knick fans bragging rights over Nets fans.