The Knicks – mercifully, thankfully – ended their one long West Coast road trip of the year in a game that was a microcosm of their season: play a much better team, get hit early, fight back, keep it close for a bit through smoke and mirrors, and then watch as the wheels fall off as the talent discrepancy rears its ugly head.
Speaking of ugly, there is arguably no greater talent discrepancy in the league than the one that exists between the Warriors and Knicks, which led to a 41-14 run that decided the game over the second and third quarters.
The final score was 122-95, but this game will be remembered for Klay Thompson’s exploits more than anything else. He was unconscious from deep, finishing with 43 points including 11-of-13 from 2-point range. He is a max player come this summer, and it is not a discussion.
It’s hard to overstate how much better the Warriors are than the Knicks. Aside from the shooting, which was most obvious, they are a well-oiled machine on both ends while the Knicks are more like a snowball: if the conditions are right, and there are no impediments in the way, and they find a steep enough hill, they can win a game, maybe, if they get a little lucky.
It isn’t that they don’t play hard; they did for most of the night, with the exception of some possessions where the mere gravity of the Warriors onslaught seemed to get to them. They’re simply a team that is still figuring out what it is on both ends. They can navigate it around that issue on some nights, but not against a team like this. On offense, once Golden State made a point to take away driving lanes in the third quarter, New York had no recourse. On defense, we were reminded that if you pass against the Knicks, you usually win.
No Knicks player had a night worth singling out. Fans who care about the progress of the youth got a rough showing tonight. Kevin Knox had some nice moments on offense, but he continues to get owned on the other end. Allonzo Trier finished 5-for-13 and has not looked remotely like the player he was before he was injured. Damyean Dotson’s shooting slump continues, as he missed all seven of his attempts from the field.
Of note, Tim Hardaway Jr., who seemingly heard the fans calls for him to stop taking so many bad shots, attempted only seven field goals, making four and finishing with 13 points. Mario Hezonja again showed signs of life.
Knicks are back home Friday night for Indiana. Can’t come soon enough.