Head coach Tom Thibodeau finally fulfilled the wishes of Knicks fans around the world by benching Elfrid Payton and inserting Derrick Rose into the starting lineup in Game 3. Surely this would fix the slow starts and give the Knicks the advantage heading into the pivotal game, right?
Well, about that...
Rose actually helped the Knicks early, scoring 11 points in the first as New York finished the first quarter with an 11-point lead. But then the Knicks followed that up with a pathetic 13-point second quarter as the Hawks took control of the game. Once again, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett were horrific. Reggie Bullock, who came up so clutch in Game 2, was a non-factor. Even the bench looked lost without Rose’s guidance.
Randle woke up just a tiny bit in the third quarter, but the Hawks simply could not miss, particularly from beyond the arc.
Derrick Rose was masterful, with 30 points on 12-21 shooting, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Thibs kept playing him in the fourth well after the game had been decided because Thibs is a madman. The rest of the team was shit. Game over. Recap to come.