Get well soon, KP. That was my first thought watching this Valentine’s Day abomination at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks blew a 27-point lead (season-high for the entire NBA) and a 37-point performance from Tim Hardaway Jr. (32 in the first half) to drop their eighth straight game.
WHEN THE BLEEDING STARTED: Hardaway had a flamethrower in the first half. It was nice to see him get out that shooting slump and look for high percentage shots. A Hardaway three put NY up 68-41 with 2:56 left in the half.
Then came the collapse. From that point until late in the third, the Wizards would outscore the Knicks 42-15 and eventually tie it at 83 with 3:32 left. The main catalyst was Bradley Beal, who shot 14/22 and finished with 36 points. New York would shoot just 22% (5/23) in the third and get outscored 39-15.
New York did better in the fourth, but as usual couldn’t get crucial stops when it mattered.
HORNACEK FINALLY GETS A CLUE: Look, we know this season’s lost. But at least try to develop our long-term young guys. Hornacek claimed he’d play with the rotations after the All-Star break to get Frank Ntilikina, who only played 11 minutes, more time. Trey Burke didn’t even see the court this game while old vet Jarrett Jack lodged 28 minutes.
I get it — Horny wants to save his job and believes the best way to achieve that is riding proven vets like Courtney Lee and Jack. My guess is upper management intervened to ensure the season’s second half has the youth focus.
The Knicks fall to 23-36 and return after the break on February 22 against the Magic.