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Knicks Bulletin: Thibodeau, McBride, Hart on loss to Magic, Brunson update...

Straight outta sources.

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks returned home for an MLK Day matinee matchup against the visiting Orlando Magic and they ended up running out of fuel earlier than expected.

New York (23-17) fell to the 22-18 Magic by four points, 98-94, and that was mostly because of a horrid performance in the final frame when the Knicks were outscored 25-16 and simply couldn’t buy a bucket to save the day.

Here is what we heard from the protagonist before and after Monday’s game.

Julius Randle

On the offensive performance on Monday...

“Stagnant. Way too stagnant.”

On his personal outing and the team as a whole...

“[The defense is] collapsing. I missed a lot of easy shots, too. Obviously [we’re] missing JB. He’s a big piece for us. It’s tough. But we had enough to win that game.”

Josh Hart

On the impact of not having Jalen Brunson while he rehabs his calf injury...

“Yeah, obviously, it is more difficult when you’re missing 25 [points] a game [from Brunson], someone who can control the pace of the game. So obviously that’s difficult to replace. When he’s out, we’ve got to figure out plays that get guys in positions to be successful.”

On the Magic approach to the game and Randle being the no. 1 target of opposing defenses...

“They played a very physical style, packed the paint, obviously there were added eyes on [Randle,] but we’ve gotta figure that out.”

On emergency-starter at the point Deuce McBride...

“He played well, played with confidence. Tough shoes to fill, but he’s been playing very well and [we] need him to continue to do it.”

Tom Thibodeau

On the loss to Orlando and what the Knicks failed to accomplish...

“We were up five [points] going into the fourth. They’re a good defensive team. We got to trust the pass. I thought we missed some open shots that we got to make. The rebounding was a problem. They got timely rebounds. … We should’ve been in position to win the game. And then offensively, we got to do better.”

“End of the third, start of the fourth. I thought their bench came in and hurt us. Dribble penetration, the rebounding was a problem in the fourth. Missed free throws. It was a choppy game because of the foul trouble early. I want to look at the film. And take a look at it. We were up five going into the fourth. They’re a good defensive team. We got to trust the pass. I thought we missed some open shots that we got to make. The rebounding was a problem. They got timely rebounds. [Wendell] Carter came in, he hurt us. [Cole] Anthony hurt us. [Chuma] Okeke hurt us with the 3. We should’ve been in position to win the game. And then offensively, we got to do better.”

“It was a choppy game. They’re a very good defensive team, but we should’ve been in position to win the game. Offensively we’ve gotta do better.”

“Jalen is a big piece for us so that’s tough, but we have enough to win the game. We just didn’t close it strong.”

On Randle’s subpar matinee against the Magic...

“Julius, he usually doesn’t have games like that. I thought he was doing other stuff for us. Julius can beat you a lot of different ways. He can beat you with the pass. I thought we had good possessions with the dribble handoff with him, it got us moving into it pretty quick. That part was good. It was choppy.”

On Brunson’s absence and availability going forward...

“Jalen Brunson is day to day, Tom Thibodeau says. He said Brunson (calf) is getting a little better. His status for Houston on Wednesday is unknown. Thibodeau said Brunson’s status is tied a bit to pain tolerance with the calf injury.”

“[It’s] pain tolerance. He just goes through his routine to workout, to get ready to play. You know, I trust him. When he’s ready to go he’ll let us know. We’ve got more than enough to win.”

On Deuce McBride stepping up and putting up numbers on back-to-back games...

“I mentioned this before. Every time he’s gotten an opportunity, he’s played well, whether it was filling in for someone who was injured or whether it was in the G League. And he’s a great worker. He came into the league being an elite defender. Even though some people are surprised with his shooting, we’re not, because we track all our shots. He’s been one of the most accurate shooters we have. And so, he takes a lot of them. He’s worked extremely hard at it. So we’re very confident in his ability. He’s prepared himself well.”

“I think you first have to do it in practice and then to be able to transfer for it over into games. But I think the one thing it does, it forces concentration. And so, usually in time if a guy puts the work in and the concentration is there, the progress will come. And obviously [he] needed an opportunity to get into rhythm of the game. But he’s controlled all the things that you can control, whether that’s during practice, pre-practice, post-practice, coming back at night. He’s put a lot of time in. He’s one of the highest players we have in terms of tracking those shots, the volume of shots.”

“I was very pleased with Deuce, he gave us really good minutes. He’s doing terrific.”

Isaiah Hartenstein

On getting charged with a couple of personal fouls early and how that impacted his game...

“There were some ticky-tack fouls that they called on me, so at the end of the day you’ve gotta live with that. I’ve gotta find ways not to do those fouls, but it is what it is.”

On grabbing important rebounds when they matter the most...

“At the end of the day, I’ve gotta find a way even if it’s out of my range. Just have to do a better job at that. I know I’m an elite rebounder. Certain bounces, it’s kind of hard to get to, but you have to find a way to get to it. At that point, it’s kind of hard. It’s not like I wasn’t trying. But at the end of the day, when the ball bounces a certain way, it is what it is.”

On not overloading Julius Randle while waiting for Jalen Brunson’s return...

“We lost an All-Star, so we’ve got to find ways to create when he’s not in the game. I feel like that has to come more with ball movement. I feel like just putting all that weight on Julius is gonna be hard for him. He can do it, but we’ve gotta move off the ball. We’ve gotta give him easier looks. Now especially when Jalen’s out, teams are just like load up on Julius and he probably won’t get the call as much as he should just because he’s big Julius. So at the end of the day, we just have to find ways to win. That was a winnable game.”

OG Anunoby

On what the Knicks did wrong and what the Magic did right at the end of the game...

“I think we got good shots. We just missed them and then the other team made shots.”

On Deuce McBride’s surge of late...

“I knew he was a talented player. I remember him in college as well. So, I always knew he had the talent.”

Miles McBride

On his performance on Monday and scoring a career-high 20 points...

“Honestly, (I don’t feel good). I’d rather have zero points and a win. That’s just my mindset. It wasn’t enough to get the win. It’s pretty much what I have to say about that.”

On leading (or not) the team from the point and managing the game in crucial moments...

“I’d say it’s my fault as a point guard. I needed to get everybody where they needed to be and manage the game a little bit better at the end. They went on a few runs where they had a couple of tough buckets. Had some rebounds we should have gotten but I think that’s on me. I gotta make sure I get everybody where they need to be and take control.”

On the Knicks' defense and trying to pull important rebounds down...

“We talk about it a lot, just making sure our guards are taken care of. You know those long rebounds, teams that shoot 3s, or they were dribble driving and really attacking the rim and that was getting us out of place because we had to help. We just needed to lock in on that defensively. I thought we made a lot of good plays. We had some good communication out there, but we didn’t do enough to get the win.”

Jamahl Mosley (Orlando Magic Head Coach)

On Jalen Brunson (quoted before Monday’s game)...

“He’s a stud. He’s an All-Star. He’s a winner. He’s tough. He’s about all the right things. He cares about his team. He cares about his family. It’s no surprise that he’s doing what he’s capable of doing [with the Knicks] … He’s a winner. He finds a way, whether that’s scoring, that’s moving it, that’s playing defense or that’s taking charges. He’s doing all of that because he’s about winning.”

Cole Anthony (Orlando Magic Guard)

On what makes Orlando a tough team to beat...

“We got some big bodies down there, too. We got like eight 7-footers on this team. And they all play their part pretty well. … We just did a great job putting some bodies on him and baited him into taking some tough 2s. I think that’s what ended up getting him out.”

“We got a bunch of studs on this team. Paolo is the biggest stud on this team. He’s a superstar.”