Things We Know And Things That Need To Be Said After Preseason Game 2
As the Knicks came plummeting back down to earth after a really good first performance plenty of holes were exposed.
I don't have any funny or light hearted quips to begin this article, so I'll just get into my thoughts:
Dennis Smith Jr is still not a starting point guard. He cannot orchestra an NBA team's offense. He gets double teamed and immediately panics barely able to find an open teammate which breaks down any plays or cohesiveness they seem to want to run. He looks like a shorter Carmelo Anthony with a worse shot just standing around and dribbling the ball while the clock runs down. If I am a betting man, he gets treated with kid gloves and will be empowered through the first 10 games to "play through mistakes" given how mentally
Mitchell Robinson is still a fouling machine. 5 fouls in 12 minutes of playing time. If I am Thibs, I start letting him foul out of games and start suspending him during the season for a game at a time, similar to that technical foul threshold that was introduced a few years ago. This will also more than likely affect his rookie extension. If he cant stay on the court, the front office will likely feel like they do not need to max him out. Everything is fine. Might be some problems later but everything is fine right now.
RJ Barrett could say he hates puppies and ice cream and I'd still love this kid. I have no notes (except that blown layup in the 4th on the breakaway). He dropped 25 points leading the comeback in the 3rd quarter with Burks and Randle. I am hoping this was a sign of good things to come in terms of his growth and leadership. I look very forward to watching him all season.
The defense was.... fine. It wasn't as good as game 1 but that is the unfortunate reality with a new coach and a young team. It is going to take more that 4 preseason games to nail it down (remember how long it took everyone to understand the triangle offense :/ )
Immanuel Quickley saw some time (9 minutes) and postgame when Thibs was asked about him he said that he was nervous and that in practice, every time he shoots he expects it to go in. Once he feels comfortable he will take better shots and they absolutely will go in. I expect to see him really giving some of these vets a run for playing time but not until game 30 or so. Be patient here,
The shot selection was good but a lot a lot a lot of shots that should have been no doubters didn't fall. The Knicks were already a bottom 5 team in terms of scoring and going 8-33 (24%) from 3 is wildly unacceptable and will not lead to any wins. Bullock usually hits those open 3 point shots, going 1-7 was certainly not indicative of how he will shoot all season. For the Knicks to be competitive, passing out of double teams and finding the open man on the second pass is VITAL to open shots and success this season. This is exactly where a seasoned point guard and a valuable confident backup are KEY in an organization.
With 2 more games left before the season opener agains Cleveland at home in Madison Square Garden I am expecting to see not only the starters solidified but the 9-10 man rotation become clear. Look for Knox, Frank and DSJ to really compete for those last few spots.
Hopefully we get to see #WholeTeamDot get some minutes against us in his new Cleveland gear.