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Trail Blazers 110, Knicks 95: Scenes from a youthful loss

Lots of rookies, lots of missed jumpers.

NBA: New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks’ young bench has often kept games close after the starting lineup has crapped all over the court at the outset. What Thursday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers presupposed is...what if the youngsters were starting?

With Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Lance Thomas all on the shelf with various injuries, Jeff Hornacek with three rookies in the starting lineup: Ron Baker, Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Will Hernangomez. As if to show their veteran mentors all the valuable lessons they’ve learned this past season, the young Knicks didn’t bother to defend or hit shots, as Portland quickly built the lead up to double-digits.

As they are wont to do, the second unit drew the deficit from 23 points all the way down to 10 thanks to a legitimately impressive second-half defensive effort. They still couldn’t hit shots to save their lives — cue the “Is it the triangle or is it the players?” paradox — but they actually adjusted to an opponent’s offense for a chance. Big ups to Chasson Randle, who dropped 13 points and made Evan Turner look foolish a couple of times. That’s all I ask for, really.

Willy Hernangomez struggled on defense for the second straight game, but at least showed off some of that wonderful Spanish footwork on offense.

And that was the lone Knicks-related highlight I could find on Twitter, cats and kittens. Even the Internet has quit on this team. Here’s some footage of Kristaps warming up.

Recap to come. Tank on.