Knicks were cruising in this game with a 7-point lead at the half and 9-pt lead early in the 3rd, when Phoenix ‘gained confidence’ and then just wiped the Knicks off the court. Walt Frazier was the first to notice it — “The Suns are going to be trouble — they’ve gained their confidence now” he said, or words to that effect. Interesting as a former player sitting courtside he could see it — their confidence as a team.
T.J. Warren kept hitting 3’s, Devin Booker with 38 points, Richaun Holmes with a couple of blocks and good interior D, Deandre Ayton with slams inside (21 points), and Josh Jackson with some 3’s — and that was all she wrote.
This game left you wondering about coach Fizdale again, and if he was a good ‘nurturing’ coach for young players but not a great coach with a system that was ever going to lay down championship Defense for these Knicks.
To be fair, the Knicks were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and had the following players injured and not playing: Tim Hardaway, Allonzo Trier, Mitchell Robinson, and Damyean Dotson (and of course Kristaps Porzingis). That’s like a whole team was missing — and a good team! Back in the days of Patrick Ewing when Knicks had one of the best teams in the league, if Ewing missed one game, everyone figured Knicks would lose it.
Kevin Knox continued to impress — 13 points in the first quarter. But then he went quiet, finishing with 17 points. He looked better than Mikal Bridges (7 points) whom a lot of fans were wondering if the Knicks should pick in last June’s draft). Emmanuel Mudiay with another terrific game 32 points. Looks like the Knicks have a point guard? Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina played together at times, and Ntilikina was money from 3 off a couple of Mudiay passes.