The New York Knicks played the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat close, but lost in the end. Yes, the Heat have been bad this season, but they’re finally healthy, and Pat Riley is forever the devil.
Tom Thibodeau learned — well, he probably didn’t actually learn anything — but he saw that the Elfrid Payton bill eventually comes due. Elf still got 31 minutes of playing time despite shooting 3-12. Thibs finally snapped out of his Elf haze with a few minutes left, but the Knicks couldn’t convert on any jump shots late, and generally defended like crap. Ah well...at least Derrick Rose will solve those problems.
Reggie Bullock was on fire from three-point land early, and finished 7-14 from beyond the arc, so that’s cool, I guess. Julius Randle finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
A whiff of controversy swirled around Thibs’ treatment of RJ Barrett. The sophomore was bad, shooting 1-6, but Thibs seriously cut his second-half minutes, which felt unnecessary. RJ has been one of the Knicks’ best players this season, and he’s their cornerstone piece.
Anyway, stop screwing around with the rotation, Thibs. Yeah, right. Recap to come.