Oh boy, the Knicks got their asses handed to them by the Toronto Raptors Sunday afternoon. It didn’t happen quickly, though, it was more of a steady ass-whooping. Look at the deficit, courtesy of NBA.com.
My God, that is a slope of mathematical precision, adding up to an ass-whooping.
To the notes!
— Tim Hardaway Jr. tried to start some shit in the second quarter, trash-talking Kyle Lowry and drawing a technical foul from Serge Ibaka. The MSG team loved his moxie—showing the kids that you can’t go down without a fight. But he also helped off the wrong guy, leading to a back-breaking three at the second quarter buzzer. And he touch-fouled a dude in transition, leading to an and-1 opportunity. I don’t expect to see Charles Oakley out there—Knicks ownership has banned him for life, after all—but I would appreciate it if this “We’re not going down without a fight” attitude involved allowing fewer wide-open threes and layups.
Tim was solid otherwise: 25 points on 7-17 shooting. He’s settling nicely into being the No. 1 scoring option on a terrible team. Hey, it’s not as easy as it looks. Ask Michael Beasley.
— Beas had a double-double: 10 points, 11 rebounds. He was sitting on 5 fouls for what seemed like a long time, but didn’t foul out. Good for him.
— Frank Ntilikina was as aggressive as I’ve seen him early in the game, probing the paint and bodying up dudes on defense. He wasn’t as good in the second half.
Man, this kid cannot hit a jumper off the dribble right now. Clyde mentioned that he’s too slow getting his shot off, which I think is probably accurate. The kid is all arms, so he probably needs some more time to get those limbs slinging basketballs at peak efficiency. Here’s hoping he improves somewhat this summer.
— Emmanuel Mudiay had the reverse-Frank game: bad in the first half, better in the second. Can the Knicks get both guards playing well at the same time? Probably not.
Mudiay hit 6-13 shots for 13 points, which is a still a huge step up from what he was shooting a couple of games ago. He also chipped in 5 assists and generally looked aggressive in that second half. Of course, the Knicks were also getting their asses handed to them at the same time. As P&T’er Magd noted, the second half may or may not have qualified as NBA-caliber.
— Luke Kornet! He dropped 18 points on those rascally Raptors in his first-ever NBA start. He has scored 29 points in two games against Toronto and 5 total points in six other games.
Unfortunately for Luke (and fortunately for his overwhelmed teammates), the Knicks don’t play Toronto again this season.