I remember reading an old quote from a chess master about why he stopped playing against Bobby Fischer: “He beat me so badly, I never even learned anything.” I think about this whenever the New York Knicks play the Houston Rockets. No team has owned the Knickerbockers quite as hard over the past decade as those Rocket rapscallions. Players change, schemes change, but the one constant is Houston stomping the Knicks firmly into the hardwood.
Wanna act like this 119-97 loss was the perfect microcosm of Houston’s embrace of modern, three-happy offense triumphing over New York’s stone aged mid-range attack? Well the 2012-13 Knicks were an offense ahead of their time, and even they got slapped the hell around twice by an inferior Rockets club. Does this make the 2017-18 Knicks good or bad? Nope. This current iteration of Knicks basketball played one solid quarter, and then nature took it’s course. It happens.
Anyhoo...sorry for the lateness of this recap. I was working, so I had to subject myself to this game on repeat. Let’s just do the notes thing and put this one to bed.
—Frank Ntilikina is gonna have to work hard to get his shooting percentage to rise even to the level of mediocre, and Wednesday’s 1-7 showing certainly isn’t going to help. Frank never really tries to take his man off the dribble, so I’m not sure if he can, but the kid could really use a couple of layups in a game sometime soon.
That being said, Frank ripped the ball from James Harden’s greasy mitts a few times, racking up 5 steals, bringing his average up to 2.0 per game. That’s quite good!
Frank Ntilikina is ranked 8th in the league in steals. That's cool. pic.twitter.com/nhoKkMBVmx— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) November 2, 2017
Yes, I’m posting my own tweet. It’s just easier!
Also, Frank dropped a career-high (duh) 8 assists. He gives the ball to friends and takes it from enemies. That’s a good combination.
—Congratulations to Damyean Dotson for scoring his first career points (9 of them!) and for juking Tarik Black into oblivion with a hesitation dribble. Honestly, though, I was more in awe of his performance in the Denver game, when he grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 2 assists in only 6 minutes. Guards that can rebound are just my jam. Clearly the kid deserves to play.
—Michael Beasley was prominently involved in the Knicks’ collapse. I understand that Jeff Hornacek feels the need for more offense on the second unit. Personally, that’s one of the reasons I think either Enes Kanter or Willy Hernangomez should play more in that role. If Kyle O’Quinn is playing, let him play more with Kristaps. so he can focus on blocking shots and menacing opponents; let Enes or Willy score as the No. 1 option against backups. Whatever you do, though, do not run the offense through Beasley. Hell, don’t even give him playing time right now. I don’t like what I see.
—Don’t play Kristaps during blowouts, please.
That’s all I got. This game sucked, as do pretty much all Knicks-Rockets games. It has no bearing on what might transpire against the Suns on Friday. Go Knicks.