What a perfectly nondescript Knicks loss that was! Wednesday’s 118-101 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers lacked the pizzazz of Monday’s overtime thriller in Charlotte, but nor the kind of humiliating blowout that would cause a bit of soul-searching. It just...happened. It was even fairly competitive through three quarters, with the Knicks erasing a 16-point deficit in the second quarter. That’ll do for now, boys.
A couple of quick notes:
—Enes Kanter messed up his back something fierce in the first half when he went up for a dunk and was fouled by fellow Turk Ersan Illyasova. Kanter didn’t hold a grudge, but did manage to sneak in a crack at his dissident status in his native country.
Enes Kanter says he and Ersan Ilyasova, a fellow Turk are cool -- "He's my homeboy" -- and the foul was clean.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) March 29, 2018
"I'm sure a lot of Turks will be happy, if they go on social media tomorrow morning, in Turkey time. A lot of Turks are going to be happy because he did that. I’m sure.”
Kanter stayed in the game in the second half, struggling noticeably but still putting in a fine overall effort: 17 points and 13 rebounds. The season’s pretty much over, big cat...no need to put your health on the line like that. Still, it was pretty damn inspiring.
—Trey Burke is at that point where you can watch him and think, “Well he wasn’t THAT good tonight,” and then look at his final stat line and be totally shocked. Lil’ Trey finished with 18 points on 7-15 shooting and 6 assists. That’s an off night for him these days! I’ll take it.
—For once, Burke didn’t have the No. 1 Knicks PG line of the night. That honor went to...Emmanuel Mudiay. It’s true! Mudiay was quite good on Wednesday, dropping 22 points on 8-15 shooting. He also blocked two shots! His distributing numbers left a lot to be desired—2 assists, 3 turnovers—but beggars can’t be choosers. One thing I noticed about Mudiay is that he looked far more comfortable taking the ball to the rim. Is this a permanent deal, and if it is, is it due to playing against the backups? Again, beggars not choosers.
—The big matchup Wednesday (in this humble blogger’s opinion. anyway) was Frank Ntilikina defending No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. Frank didn’t have a good offensive game—he seems to alternate good and terrible shooting performances these days), but he shut down Fultz (1-5 shooting) and also did a pretty darn good job when matched up on Ben Simmons. I could watch that kid defend all day.
And that’s it, friends. The Knicks only have six games left this season. Where does the time go?