Before the game RJ Barrett had an interesting take when he said that no fans at MSG could actually help the Knicks as he felt that visiting players come into MSG trying to wow the fans in the stands and that does not happen in an empty arena.
As it turns out the only part of that comment that rang true was EMPTY as the Sixers beat the Knicks 109-89 as the homestanding team had a brutal night from perimeter with Barrett being the poster child for that with an awful 2 for 15 shooting night including 0 for 6 from three point land.
Defensively the Knicks could not really handle the Sixer high octane offense. And once again as they did in Indy on Opening Night the 3Q was an issue. Sixers outscored the Knicks 26-14 in the 3Q which for all intents and purposes ended the game.
Overall the team’s perimeter shooting was cause of concern as they shot 38 per cent from the floor and coupled with their 16 turnovers the Knicks were put in a hole they could not climb out of giving them their second straight loss to start the season.
What I hope RJ Barrett learned from this night is in this town comments made to the media must be much more carefully constructed than he did yesterday because all it does is put more pressure on yourself and your teammates in the sports media capital of the world.
In the short term I am sure Head Coach Tom Thibodeau must bring a defensive mindset that was clearing missing last night. Yes positioning needs to improve but this squad using their hands to play defense rather than their foot speed and that needs to be tweaked. Offensively, forced long range jumpers do not cut it in the NBA and making that extra pass can often get the team a higher percentage shot and that is also not happening.
Things do not get any easier for the Knicks as the Bucks are next on their schedule and poor perimeter shooting coupled with lackluster defense could render a blowout of epic proportions.
Please listen to attached Zoom audio below