Despite having lost the game to the Pacers, the Knicks rallied to get within 4 and it just wasn’t enough to hold down the Pacers. However, being that this was the first game back from the All Star Break, it showed us something different.
The last time these two teams met was on February 1 and the Knicks won that one. Things were different last night and it’s clear that the Pacers wanted that victory more. Also — if you take a look at the stands, this game was more important for the Pacers to win as they’re trying to stay in it.
On February 1, RJ Barrett still wasn’t active due to his ankle injury, and last night, we saw him extra aggressive and hungry. The rookie played 27 minutes and finished the night off with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
In the third quarter, it looked like the game was over because the Pacers just took over and let by 22 points at one point. There were several time outs used by the Knicks because obviously – it could’ve gone way south.
The fourth quarter came around and the Knicks stepped up the defense. They came within four and I, for a split second, thought this might’ve gone into overtime. The fans have been dying to see the younger players and last night- they showed out.
Frank Ntilikina has been getting sharp when he hits those 3-point shots and last night, he showed us his improvements.
If you take a look back at the games so far from this year, the Knicks have done a good job of holding their opponents’ scoring. It’s been only a handful of games where things were out of control.
Had the Knicks gained more control of the ball in third quarter, the results would’ve been a lot more different. But, if we can takeaway anything positive from last night’s game — the youth is coming together and we might see them all together, pending Mike Miller’s decision.