Photo Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Knicks fans keep themselves entertained as their team loses
As New York Knicks fans suffer through one of the worst seasons in their team’s history, they’ve found creative ways to remain entertained. During the Sunday night matchup against the Miami Heat, Knicks fans joined together to do a wave. Usually, fans do waves at soccer games. In addition to doing waves, Knicks fans began to chant “we want Kanter.” The beleaguered big man recently found out that he isn’t a part of the Knicks future, but the fans remained hopeful that David Fizdale would hear their cries and give Enes Kanter some playing time.
A festive night for Knicks fans turns disastrous thanks to Wayne Ellington
Well, the Knicks fans cries fell on deaf ears because Kanter logged in another DNP. As for the Knicks, they added another loss to their already atrocious record (10-38). Led by Wayne Ellington‘s 19 points, the Heat defeated the Knicks 106-97 at Madison Square Garden. Overall, the Knicks played a good game. Unfortunately, when the game was on the line, the Knicks folded like cheap tents as usual.
Heat legend Dwyane Wade — who finished with 15 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds — received loud applause from the Garden faithful when he entered the game for the first time. Also, Knicks great Carmelo Anthony was in attendance, supporting his friend Wade, and the home fans greeted him with a standing ovation. It was a very festive night for Knicks fans, but Ellington made sure they would go home miserable.
Knicks comeback cut short thanks to Ellington
Late in the fourth quarter, the Knicks rallied back from thirteen down to tie the game at 90 with four minutes remaining. Tim Hardaway Jr. nailed a big 3-pointer which sent the Garden crowd into a frenzy. Afterward, Hassan Whiteside responded with an easy basket over Trey Burke. Once the ball finished dropping through the net, it was the Ellington Show. On the next possession, Damyean Dotson turned over the ball which resulted in an easy layup for Ellington.
After Ellington’s basket, Hardaway Jr. remained aggressive and drew a foul. He hit both of his free throws to bring the Knicks within two. At that moment, the game seemed to be going towards a tight finish, but Ellington had other plans. He scorched the Knicks with back-to-back threes to preserve the lead, and win, for the Heat.
Knicks dominated in the first half
In the first half, the Knicks led by as many as nine points due to the scoring exploits of Hardaway Jr. and the bench. Hardaway Jr. scored 13 points before halftime and finished with a team-high 22 points. Allonzo Trier, Mario Hezonja, Burke, and Dotson also contributed to the Knicks early success. They accounted for 24 of the Knicks 32 points in the second quarter. At halftime, the Knicks led 58-52.
Heat starters outplayed Knicks starters
The Knicks bench outscored the Heat bench 59-38, but the Heat starters thoroughly outplayed the Knicks starters. All Heat starters finished in double-figures (Ellington – 19, James Johnson and Whiteside – 13, Josh Richardson – 12, and Justise Winslow – 11). Also, every Heat starter except for Richardson had a plus-minus equal to or higher than +18. In contrast, the Knicks starters combined for 38 points, and every Knicks starter except for Frank Ntilikina had a negative plus-minus of -11 or lower.
Knicks bench may take a hit with Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina out
Throughout the season, the Knicks bench has been the bread and butter for the team. With injuries to Emmanuel Mudiay and Ntilikina, who injured his groin in the second quarter, the impact from the bench won’t be as strong. More than likely Burke, who finished with 16 points, will start at point guard and force the Knicks to delve deeper into their bench for production.
In the game-to-game updated standings of the Tank-a-thon, the Knicks are currently in second place. As the games go by, the Knicks front office are rubbing their hands together like Birdman at the prospect of landing one of the top talents in this year’s top-heavy draft.
The next stop for the “Knicks Tank” will be in Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Tuesday.