Karma for Toronto? What should have been the biggest highlight of Kristaps Porzingis’ young career turned into massive disappointment when his three-point buzzer beater was waived off for being a millisecond too late.
Here’s my take — I’m not mad at the refs for calling it off. From most angles, the ball appears on Kris’ fingertips with 0.0 remaining on the clock. My main problem is the time he was given to make the shot. Zoeller’s layup on the previous play should have left 0.08 on the clock instead of the 0.06 we were given. If that had been done, Porzingis would rightly have his buzzer beater.
Nonetheless, that’s not why we lost. The rotations were head-scratchers at times and one the catalysts that helped Charlotte erase two double-digit leads we had in the second half. Robin Lopez has proven to be our best defensive big and needs to be coming in the fourth as early as possible. Amundson needs to be in the rotation before Kevin Seraphin. And speaking of Kevin, playing him and Derrick Williams at the same time should never be done again. Losing this game rests solely on being outscored 14-26 in the final 12 minutes (Note: a lot of it was due to dumb fouls on NY’s part). Not to mention Charlotte dominated the bench battle 45-29.
Despite the bad bench play, we had a few bright spots. Arron Affalo looked good offensively in his first game back. He had 12 points (50% FG) and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes. The only issue for him was defense as Nic Batum beat him off screens several times. Porzingis notched another double double (10 points, 15 rebounds), and Melo had a scorcher of a second half to finish with 29 points.
The Knicks will quickly have to put this heartbreak behind them as the Cavaliers come to town on Friday.