There are only a handful of games this year the Knicks figure to go into as favorites, especially on the road. Tonight’s tilt in Atlanta was one. You can imagine how invigorated a fan base must be when they’re home dogs to the Knicks.
The Knicks drew first blood, leading most of the opening frame. One reason for this was Noah Vonleh, who nearly had a double-double in the first nine minutes. Then he sat for about half of the rest of the half, because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Another reason? Frank Ntilikina owns Trae Young’s soul. He covers himself with it while napping, dries off with it after showering, and curls it around his head when he’s pretending to have long, girly-blonde hair.
Frank Ntilikina has missed 14 straight 3-pointers and has been struggling offensively, lately. So he takes Trae Young into the post and post-ups the guard he has about 5 inches on. Ntilikina has been working on that shot in workouts but used it rarely in games. pic.twitter.com/PJA7DsseB0— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) November 8, 2018
Ntilikina outscored Young 11-0 in the first half. For real, I wouldn’t look any more out of sorts trying to go at Frank than Trae did. Many took note.
Trae Young with Frank Ntilikina off the floor: happy, comfortable, making plays with the basketball— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) November 8, 2018
Trae Young with Frank Ntilikina on the floor: crying, teeth chattering, shudders at the mere thought of a basketball
He wasn’t the only young Knickerbocker strutting his stuff. Allonzo Trier knows no fear.
The Knicks went cold from the field, from the line and beyond the arc, and the Hawks took advantage, including one ex-Knick.
On one especially galling sequence, three Knicks fought for one rebound, with Enes Kanter at the center of it, of course. He ended up traveling while fighting off two teammates for the board. Peak Enes. Speaking of the center, Mitchell Robinson, everybody!
Robinson forced a number of missed shots at the rim. It’s...what would you call it, Rene Belloq?
The third quarter saw the Hawks turning the ball over and Tim Hardaway Jr. turning it up. New York built a double-digit lead. Trae Young did his Steph Curry impression, which is like Adam Sandler doing Eddie Vedder or Jay Pharoah doing Jay-Z: a one-trick pony, but a pretty cool pony. You’ll note this did not occur against Ntilikina.
As the third quarter wound down, Trier faced a tough double-clutch three-pointer. Instead of shooting, he passed it to Hardaway and the buzzer sounded. Getting leery of this with Trier. Methinks he’s too aware of his numbers and gets gun-shy at the end of quarters.
A lot of Knick fans seem to be growing tired of Kanter’s act, on the court and off. Trust me, I’m right there with you. He’s not easy to watch, even when he’s the innocent victim.
I shit you not, Enes Kanter nearly died in Atlanta tonight pic.twitter.com/eODkojLOXn— Kyle S. Maggio (@kylemaggio) November 8, 2018
But never lose sight of the fact that however much of a heel he seems to be, he’s still our heel. His trolling still manages to warm my heart from time to time.
Enes Kanter makes free throw after missing first - depriving fans who woke up for this of a Chik-Fil-A sandwich, then gives a Dikembe finger wag after.— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) November 8, 2018
A weird thing tonight = how many follow-up dunks and missed follow-up dunks Miles Plumlee and Alex Len had. It was literally like a dozen times.
The Hawks fought back in the fourth before a Ntilikina three put the Knicks back up seven. Then Ntilikina fouled out on a weak-ass loose ball foul call. The lead fell to four. Trier time.
Allonzo Trier puts Kent Bazemore on skates with the behind-the-back cross and pull-up jumper. He's got 16 points and playing major minutes for the Knicks as an undrafted free agent. pic.twitter.com/KmNfPYfriX— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) November 8, 2018
But the rook giveth and the rook taketh away. With the Knicks up six in the last 15 seconds, Trier fouled Taurean Prince on a three-pointer. But he missed the first two, and that was the end of the competitive portion of the program.
Some of y’all may be religiously obsessed with tanking. Scott Perry is not of your church.
Knicks GM Scott Perry is on the road with the team. An eye witness said Perry was visibly upset during portions of the first half in Atlanta. The Knicks gave up 57 points to the Hawks and trailed by three after two quarters. Doesn't seem like Perry has any interest in tanking.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 8, 2018
Recap on its way. Wins feel good.