I was too pissed off to write about this game last night. After three quarters of competent basketball, the Knicks players and coaching staff reverted back to their worst traits and received the most crushing loss of the season in an overtime loss to the Rockets.
What makes this loss so heartbreaking and infuriating? Let’s look at a few facts.
- The Knicks shot 58% from the field.
- Without Melo (out with an illness), the two next best scorers stepped up big time — Arron Affalo had 31 points (13/19) 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 20 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks.
- New York was up by 14 points with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
AND WE STILL LOST!!! A closer look at the numbers reveals why.
- New York started playing defense with their hands in the fourth quarter and allowed Houston to live at the line. Overall, the Rockets got a staggering 36 trips to the charity stripe. Where some of those fouls suspect? Absolutely. But too often the Knicks put themselves in bad positions where the ref’s flaky dispositions become a factor.
- Horrible turnovers. This marked the fourth and OT with Calderon, normally reliable with the ball, having five of them. Galloway and Seraphin also had costly brain farts that allowed Houston to snatch the lead.
- Coach Fisher seemed to have a handle on the rotations until it counted. Kevin Serpahin had a great game off the bench (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks), but his turnovers (5) helped kill the team in crunch time. 32 minutes was probably too much and Robin Lopez’s defense would have been the better tradeoff.
A lot of fans have been complaining about the uncalled moving screen Dwight Howard put on Arron Affalo, which allowed Trevor Ariza to hit a dagger three-pointer. My issue is the Knicks should have never been in that position by allowing Houston to go on a 12-0 run to help push that game into OT.
On Wednesday, we play the Sixers, who at press time are still winless. We can’t possibly loss to them, right?