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Blazers 115, Knicks 87 “Knox just scored on the wrong basket”

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This game sucked

NBA: New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks played the Blazers on the first game of a West Coast trip. They couldn’t make shots, no matter how wide open and/or in rhythm. The Blazers made many shots, specifically Damian Lillard, no matter how well contested.

I’m sure there will be some people who use this as an opportunity to pretend David Fizdale didn’t suck and nothing was his fault. Those people are wrong. The Knicks didn’t get out-schemed, they got out-talented. Under Fiz, it was the combo of those two factors that was infuriating beyond belief.

But I’m also an idiot. So whatever. Suck my butt.

Notes:

  • I’m just giving everybody a sentence or two.
  • Frank Ntilikina was aggressive to start, but because he got blocked on his third shot when driving to the rim, he decided to just dutifully run the offense. If he ever wants to be a lead guard — and not just a nice rotation player — he’s got to do way more than that.
  • RJ drove into a some blind alleys, forced some shots, and got the quick hook in the third quarter from Mike Miller with a potentially winnable back-to-back game looming. Would really like to see him play in better spaced lineups.
  • Marcus Morris is very surprisingly regressing from three point range. I am shocked he won’t maintain his 52% shooting from beyond the arc.
  • Julius Randle is annoying.
  • Taj should come off the bench.
  • Mitch should start, but tonight was one of those instances when he decided to commit stupid fouls like jumping into old man Carmelo Anthony, as if he was a vertical threat who could finish through him if he just went straight up. It didn’t matter tonight, because we got rocked anyways, but he needs to be smarter.
  • Kevin Knox bricked everything, and at this point he looks like a total basket case. I’m not sure what’s up with him, but it’s crazy how bad he’s been lately, and, quite frankly, very concerning.
  • Damyean Dotson did some stuff that was cool. It’s hard for him to matter when the guys higher up the food chain are all negatives.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. just sucks right now. He doesn’t seem to have any idea of who he is or what he wants to do, and that really blows, because somebody with his physical talent should be so much more than he is.
  • Elfrid Payton seems like a decent experienced hand. He certainly is the best of the PGs at just running an offense, even if that’s not a high bar to clear.
  • Bobby Portis had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes. I barely remember any of that, and I feel like he bricked more open threes than it indicates in the box score.
  • Allonzo Trier scored efficiently, but had no impact at all. Color me shocked.
  • Ignas Brazdeikis. Iggy.
  • It’s hard to make big changes two games in, but at some point Mike Miller has to realize that playing Randle and Morris together so many minutes sucks. There’s certainly a more optimal set of lineups and rotation for him to figure out, but if he doesn’t, it certainly lends plenty of credence to the idea that the front office is dictating minutes and rotations.

This game blew, but it blew in a more normal, less soul-sucking way than many of Fizdale’s last stand. That’s just me, though.

Quoth Freddie Fionopolis: “Knox just scored on the wrong basket.” That did happen. I didn’t care. I didn’t care for most of this game. I’m on tomorrow’s game though, so if you want some real takes and analysis from yours truly I’ll have some for you then. Sleep well, losers.