So many thoughts, so many emotions.
What a hell of a game. It's hard to acknowledge moral victories but in this case, I will make an exception. The Knicks played sub par basketball for 3 quarters and still managed to have a lead with a chance to win it in the late stages of the 4th quarter. No small feat having a chance to beat two playoff teams on the road in your fist 2 games.
Alonzo Trier (22p/2a/3r) was the catalyst last night taking over the game and getting the young Knicks in a position to make a late run. Iso-Zo was locked in, even though he is trying to distance himself from that moniker, he was exactly what the team needed and he recognized that. Veteran vision from the Undrafted 23 year old Seattle native.
Big Kev Knox (16p/2a/1r) is looking like he has made a huge jump on the offensive end from year 1, hitting another pair of huge 3 pointers exactly when they were needed, followed by some banging down low to get to the hoop for 8 quick points in a time where the Knicks were battling back. His defense is still suspect in game 2 of the young season and Fiz and the Staff should hone in on that ASAP.
Speaking of huge 3 pointers, Wayne Ellington had himself a night off the bench. Staying ready and willing to provide a spark off the bench, 4th Quarter Wayne came in and buried 3 big buckets to tie and give the Knicks the lead with under 5 minutes to play. That would eventually be erased by Kyrie Irving making shots the Nets needed down the stretch, including but not limited to the big 3 pointer to regain the lead they would eventually keep.
The most notable difference between these 2 teams and if I may be a little bias, The Knicks are a better team after what I saw last night with one glaring omission, the "Closer". Julius Randle was expected to be that guy but with a sloppy spin move that saw the ball bounce off his foot and go out of bounds, it is obvious thata late game, big shot, ball handler is needed. If I was Fizdale, the ball is in RJ Barrett hands down the stretch. Let the kid have a moment, let him get comfortable in tough situations. This was a game the Knicks would have loved to win and if they were going to lose, I would have liked it to have been behind RJ making a play. He ran point (pretty) well throughout the game. Let him make the big play, big pass to an open teammate, big shot. He has a lot of years in this league... why wait to start making him THE guy.
In any case, the Knicks are 0-2 with the home opener against the Celtics tonight. Kemba, Jaylen, Tatum and Gordon Hayward are not going to make it easy to get that first win but I'll touch on that tomorrow.