2021 NBA Playoffs Game Thread: Knicks vs Hawks, Game 1…of the Playoffs. Meaning the Knicks are in the Playoffs.

The Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks as they play in a playoff game for the first time in eight years (interestingly, also the last time that they hosted the first game of a playoff series).

One of the concerns about the Knicks was every game being played like Game 7 and the team possibly being worn down and then the NBA…decided to give the playoff teams all a week off. Thanks, NBA!

So the Knicks are well-rested, you know Thibs has been game-planning this for a week, the crowd is going to be deafening in support of the Knicks. Everything is set for the Knicks taking it right to the Hawks starting in Game 1. Remember, the Knicks swept the Hawks in the regular season. Granted, the Hawks were rarely healthy in those matchups and now they’ll have some healthier guys shooting threes, but let’s hope that that doesn’t matter.

It all comes down to the Knicks just taking care of business on their home court.

Let’s go, win Game 1, Knicks!

Oh, I almost forgot, as part of our all-poll content, here you go…

Who would you like to start at the 1 for the Knicks in Game 1?

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485 thoughts to “2021 NBA Playoffs Game Thread: Knicks vs Hawks, Game 1…of the Playoffs. Meaning the Knicks are in the Playoffs.”

  1. Just wanted to say before we start our playoff run (feels weird to say) that although we aren’t there yet, it has been a pleasure getting through the last 8 years (and more) with this board. I know the season ends with a likely loss at some point, but it has been a hell of a lot of fun so far. Here’s hoping for a big Braids Randle game to set the tone for the series!

  2. There’s a strong contingent of KBloggers at the Garden
    and be sure that everyone of us at home is with you in spirit if not in flesh.

    Make us proud guys, raise the roof!

    Let’s Go Knicks!

  3. Here with the KB crew tonight. Been reading this board since around 2007/2008 I think. Most fun year since then by far.

    LFG

  4. every single one of these guys were maligned at one… or or many… points of their knick careers… and they are all here right at the point where we start to..hopefully.. turns things around…

    all we needed was to suitup joakim noah for the full redemption arc…

  5. This is so freaking awesome watching a Game 1 of the playoffs being played at the Garden, too bad have to watch on TNT and not MSG.

  6. Watching videos from the Garden on Twitter sounds like the crowd is going crazy already, atmosphere going to be electric to say the least.

  7. It’s a shame Reddish is injured both for our win probability and for the otherwise likely joy from RJ yamming it on him at least once during the series.

  8. Gentlemen, engines.

    So grateful for this board.

    I hope everyone is stretching.

    Let’s go Knicks!

  9. Be loud guys! ;) And let’s gooo… Go New York, go New York, gooooooo! :)

  10. Let’s go KNICKS!
    To the Knickerbloggers at the game. Be proud and loud. You carry many voices with you.

  11. Wait, what? We’re in the playoffs??

    Yeah, I voted for Payton to start. But if he stinks, sure, pull him and banish him quickly. Get it, quickly…

  12. So good to be a Defense team first.
    All that debate here earlier about our D and our three D.

  13. It doesn’t look like they’re doubling Randle.

  14. Nerves showing for both teams. Never seen the team with this much energy

  15. Damn, I’m late. Let’s go KNICKS!

    (just for the record: Sixers 4; Nets 4; Bucks 6; Knicks 7; Jazz 5; Lakers 7; Clippers 6; Nuggets 7)

  16. It’s all right. Settle down. Let’s get everybody their first bucket.

  17. Although Atlanta was able to slip through the D a couple of times, the offense is why we’re behind right now. And we’re getting decent shot attempts – I think the adrenaline is flowing a bit too strong right now.

  18. The good news is that Randle is generating wide open looks for RJ. The bad news is that RJ has not made one yet.

  19. Who in the starting lineup has been in the playoffs before? RJ, Randle, and Payton haven’t. Bullock, I assume so. Noel?

  20. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    Although Atlanta was able to slip through the D a couple of times, the offense is why we’re behind right now. And we’re getting decent shot attempts – I think the adrenaline is flowing a bit too strong right now.

    Agree. Just didn’t like Elf getting blown by and then tripping people. I mean WTF? I expected his effort to double tonight, just for his own self-respect. Not there.

  21. Nice drive by RJ. I believe the word until that point was “inauspicious.”

    Edit: still inauspicious

  22. Who in the starting lineup has been in the playoffs before? RJ, Randle, and Payton haven’t. Bullock, I assume so. Noel?

    Noel played well in the playoffs just last year.

    Bullock got to the second round with the Clippers in 2014 and then made the first round in 2016.

  23. Hawks got their feet under them. We need to continue driving to keep things going. Cold from anywhere outside the paint.

  24. It doesn’t look like they’re doubling Randle.

    They’re guarding him really well. He has to take it to the next level.

  25. So far, not many bad looks. Just missing shots. These will fall soon.

  26. Did Z-Man make it into the arena, or did you guys leave him under the bar at the Local?

  27. The guys are tight… I think Burks will help. Need to knock down some open shots!

  28. I’m shocked that the Okongwu let that go out of bounds. It was clearly out on them.

  29. Every shot, including RJ first free-throw, seems to hit off the back iron. Weird but I rather see that then to come up short. The shots will fall as the game goes on.

  30. It’s hilarious that the Hawks were like, “Eh, I guess Lou Williams can be our backup point guard.”

  31. Gallo decided to go full-on Travis Bickle

    He looks so fucking stupid. I want to like you, Gallo, but you’re making it so difficult.

  32. “E, all merc’d out
    May 23, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Gallo decided to go full-on Travis Bickle”

    *

    He had a faux-hawk when he played here. (Now that he’s a real Hawk, he went and got a real Mohawk I guess)

  33. KB Apprentice: Agree. Just didn’t like Elf getting blown by and then tripping people. I mean WTF? I expected his effort to double tonight, just for his own self-respect. Not there.

    Yeah if Elf can’t body up Trae and make him work on offense then he’s really no use.

  34. I think we (the crowd) spooked the Knicks a little. Too much juice. great shots just didn’t fall.

    only thing that annoyed me: we really need to punish them when they put Gallo on Randle. we let em get away with it.

  35. Think we need to get more Randle on the block or pinch post vs out at the 3 point lane to get some rotations going …too easy to defend us right now

  36. Raven: I can tell you the worst one — took me almost the entire first quarter to figure out who that guy with the mohawk was…

    He went from the Rooster to the Moe-Hawk

  37. marechal:
    Considering they are shooting 7-24, I’ll take an 8 point deficit.

    Same here. When the nerves settle, they’ll eventually start hitting their 3s. They keep the Intensity up on D and they’ll eventually grind out a lead.

  38. Your graphics have to be see-through if you are going to put them over the screen.

  39. Thank goodness Gallo is bricking some open threes. Invisible Sixth Man helping out.

  40. What’s funny is that initially, the Hawks were playing Quick out there, so I don’t know why they foolishly sagged there. That’s his shot.

  41. “We pulled some strings to get her grandfather’s dog tags back.” Why wouldn’t you give her the dog tags back? Huh?

  42. Burks and the rooks carrying us, now it’s Randle’s time to take over

  43. A nice assist and an above the head flush for Obi.

    We’re stabilizing…

  44. Burks saving the Knicks right now.

    For serious! That dude is making himself some bank this game!

  45. Are we seeing the Obi Tobbin Game develop here? Huge minutes for a rookie in his first playoff game.

  46. Rose is getting hammered every time into the paint. Too bad he doesn’t have “superstar” status anymore.

  47. rohank:
    Rose is getting hammered every time into the paint. Too bad he doesn’t have “superstar” status anymore.

    Yeah, I noticed the same. He can’t do that all series. Thibs needs a plan.

  48. Smart timeout, because he can also take a look to see if he wants to challenge.

  49. The thing about ranked choice voting is it’s fine to write in Immanuel Quickley as your #1 choice for mayor

  50. I’m fine with them not calling these fouls, assuming it will be consistent on both sides. The more liberal the whistle, the better for the Knicks.

  51. The future looking bright….Obi and Quick stepping up! Now ArrrJay needs to do the same!

  52. Burks, Rose and the rookies took us out of the hole,
    now the starters need to show up…

  53. Just let Quick shoot from half court should be our offense.

  54. Bogdanovic and Gallo a combined 0-8 from three. That likely won’t continue, so the Knicks need to shoot better in the second half.

  55. Feel like Knicks played awful in 1st half so only being down 2 feels like a blessing. If they can tighten up the defense in the 2nd half they should pull this game out.

  56. I’ll take down 2 after that 1st quarter shooting.
    The bench has been awesome.
    Randle and RJ have to shake it off.
    The rookies have graduated.

  57. Nice response in that second quarter. Felt like they didn’t do much different other than get some shots to fall. This is going to be tight series though, so a two point differential either way seems about right for these teams.

    IQ is hands down built for MSG.

  58. We did a lot of bad things, bad turnovers, bad shots, Randle, RJ and Bullock struggling, but we’re still within 2. Just a decent second half and we can win this!

  59. Does Thibs really start Payton in the 2nd half, after playing him about 5 mins in the 1st half? He should start Quick.

  60. Gallo and Bogey are cold, but so are Randle and RJ. Given how bad we looked at the start, feeling pretty good to be only down 2.

  61. Capella looking like a serious problem

    Also, feel like I’ve seen more alley oops in the first half than I saw the entire season

  62. Quick looks like he’s got enough energy and confidence to literally fly. So fun.

  63. Knowing Thibs yes he starts…but I def wouldn’t start him, he offered nothing out there on either end

    TheClashFan:
    So, will Payton start the 2nd half?

  64. Barkley is saying that “by the eye test” the Hawks have the better team. One half and it’s done. What a moron.

  65. Thibs loved the hot hand early in the season, on a day when IQ has it he’ll get the look

  66. Any Knickerbloggers at the Garden? Update? Sounds Lowwwwd ;-)

    EDIT: Maybe not for the DJ (hahaha)

  67. Oh, and Rose really making some vintage Rose layups. He’s been a jump shooter for us, wasn’t entirely sure he still had it in him

  68. cybersoze:
    Barkley is saying that “by the eye test” the Hawks have the better team. One half and it’s done. What a moron.

    Charles rarely gives the Knicks props for anything. And even when he does, he’ll look for the 1st opp to bury us.

    I just think he’s never liked New York.

  69. Payton gets the start, misses a shot, the guy he is guarding promptly scores. Sigh.

  70. What the Knicks do that’s great is that they take away the first move and force less-disciplined teams to have to think on the fly and they’re rarely as, well, you know, disciplined as the Knicks, so you get these terrible passes or shots around the basket by the Hawks. But then Young gets free and, well, you can’t guard a guy when he runs past you all.

  71. That’s a good Timeout there.

    Knicks were able to steal some minutes with Elf to start the 3rd but cannot afford to play 4-on-5 esp if Trae gets loose a few times.

  72. Payton won’t see the floor again tonight.

  73. Noel defense has been awful. He needs to step up to Trae in the lane and get big

  74. If Trae Young is going to be so clearly the best player on the court Knicks are done.

  75. Huge sequence by RJ there. Good on him taking the game on even despite having a rough shooting night to start. Kid just doesn’t quit.

  76. I love how the Hawks are like, “Hey, maybe someone other than Trae should try to score!” for no reason.

  77. I just love RJ. Kid’s intangibles are so solid they’re practically tangible

  78. marechal:
    I hurt my hand celebrating that RJ dunk. Damn.

    I hope you didn’t break glass in case of fire

  79. I am loving how McMillan’s like, “Yeah, I like what I’m seeing here. Let me just stick with this.” That’s why you’re an interim coach, buddy.

  80. Line of the night. “These fans don’t need seats.”

  81. Brian Cronin:
    I am loving how McMillan’s like, “Yeah, I like what I’m seeing here. Let me just stick with this.” That’s why you’re an interim coach, buddy.

    Shhhhhhhhh.

  82. I don’t get it, why did they just punt those last few seconds? They really didn’t need to just take a halfcourt three there.

  83. Lou Williams is such a great asset to have off the bench. Would be a more than capable starter on a lot of teams.

  84. This has been Randles worst game of the season. What is he doing out there.

  85. Rose should’ve played up on Snell – he’s only there to shoot 3s.

    Randle has to realize that the Hawks defensive game plan on him is legit. He needs to dip into his Plan B on offense.

  86. Lou Williams is such a great asset to have off the bench. Would be a more than capable starter on a lot of teams.

    I like Lou Williams, but I think they need a “real” backup point guard.

  87. Randle has to realize that the Hawks defensive game plan on him is legit. He needs to dip into his Plan B on offense.

    This happened early in the season and he adjusted, so I’m hoping he’ll adjust in the fourth, as well.

  88. He was looking for Burks….but everyone saw it and way too much traffic uggh

  89. I like Lou Williams, but I think they need a “real” backup point guard.

    Fair call. Always thought he was more of a 2 guard, so you are probably right there.

  90. this is what randle was doing in the regular season… nobody is shooting well today… this is the offense that got us here…

  91. Where would this team be without Derrick Rose?

  92. Probably smart for Gallo to just foul him there, as obviously Quickley would have burned him.

  93. Where would this team be without Derrick Rose?

    Throw Alec Burks into this conversation as well. He an Rose have been massive barometer’s this season.

  94. Knicks might blow this game because they can’t stop Lou freaking Williams are you kidding me.

  95. We just can’t seem to open up on these guys and get a little breathing room.

  96. The let the Hawks guards get all the way to the rim and having Noel stick to Capela and not help is not the right strategy. Assume Thibs is telling Noel to do this but it’s not working.

  97. DudesTown:
    Our interior defense got worse when Taj sat down. Our rebounding too.

    As great as Noel is on D, Taj is a bit more savvy and has better hands. He may even be stronger.

  98. Bad Randle tonight. He has to understand their game plan is to take him out of the game. He’s not a superstar that can score and be efficient despite that. He can’t force shots or passes. He has to move the ball. It will find the open player. His problem is that he believes his own hype and feels like he has to do things. No he doesn’t. Just play smart basketball.

  99. dtrickey: Throw Alec Burks into this conversation as well. He an Rose have been massive barometer’s this season.

    Burks has been clutch.

  100. I don’t know how much more my heart can take and it’s only Game 1 lol.

  101. Nate McMillan’s rotations are straight up trash. It’s very good for the Knicks, though.

  102. >Gallo. LOL.<

    It’s either the haircut or he’s secretly still on the Knicks payroll. Lol He’s been brutally bad tonight.

  103. Brian Cronin:
    Gallo. LOL.

    Gallo has been a mess on offense, but he does seem to be getting in Randle’s head. Julius has been swatting his hand away and bumping and jawing at him up and down the court.

  104. BigBlueAL:
    I don’t know how much more my heart can take and it’s only Game 1 lol.

    My defibrillator is powered up.

  105. randle needs to get his ass on the block or pinch post and stop shooting fade away jumpers

  106. Why in the world is Young trying trick passes with six minutes left in the fourth quarter?

  107. Really, every game we watch, it just makes me appreciate how much better Thibs is at coaching in the games than the other teams’ coaches. Maybe McMillan has other strengths, I assume he does, but in the game, Thibs makes him look like Fizdale in comparison.

  108. Man, I forgot how stressful the playoffs are. Just breathe, baby…

  109. DRed:
    We are boned if Noel can’t play

    I actually think Taj has overall been the better big this game. But yeah hopefully Noel will be ok.

  110. I hate when referees decide to cal a different game in the closing minutes.

  111. No way Burks is going to be here next year. He getting paid.

  112. Taj is a pro guy.
    Play his role very well.
    Could be like Haslem for the heat or our softer version of oakley.

    He started the season without a team and find himelf playing solid minutes in a playoff team

  113. No way Burks is going to be here next year. He getting paid.

    He can be paid here!

  114. Defense on Young has been pretty awful all game long.

    He’s hard to guard period.

  115. I’d try trapping at some point …. we can’t keep being in the lob or layup threat territory every possession

  116. we’ve kept trae off the line all game.. that’s a great way to stop him… and i think the D has been not bad…

    that hasn’t happened this quarte.r..

  117. “Well, let’s just sag off of Burks, it’s not like he’s going to shoot it, right?”

  118. Alec FUCKING Burks yo…

    And yeah it may be time to throw Frank on Trae on D. Or maybe RJ for a possession?

  119. Give Burks a blank cheque and get him to write whatever number he wants on it.

  120. This team looks amazing lets win this game.
    I feel like i want to buy nba cards of this knicks team to remind me how great they are.

  121. Seriously the officiating in this makes me not want to watch the rest of the series.

  122. How are you going to overturn that? There was contact and they called a foul. How can you overturn it?

  123. That 3 make by Bog was bullshit. I mean he barely collected the ball off the deflection and had Rose on him. That was some LeBron-level prayer bs

  124. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    That 3 make by Bog was bullshit. I mean he barely collected the ball off the deflection and had Rose on him. That was some LeBron-level prayer bs

    Yeah, maybe Law of Averages. He’s missed some wide open looks, too.

  125. This is just not a watchable sport when shit like this happens.

    You literally aren’t allowed to play defense against Trae Young

  126. I don’t mind trying the challenge there, but come on, that was never going to be reversed.

  127. They let everything go all game (as it should be in the playoffs) and now they are calling candy ass fouls against us. Total BS

  128. JK47:
    Fuck this they just give Trae every fucking call

    NBA sucks

    And they’re choosing NOW to give him these ticky tack calls when they didn’t give it to him the first 3 quarters

  129. one of the things they are looking at in the offseason is all the bullshit fouls on trae/harden et al… have no idea how they’ll handle it… but it does need to be addressed…

  130. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    That 3 make by Bog was bullshit. I mean he barely collected the ball off the deflection and had Rose on him. That was some LeBron-level prayer bs

    The bounce they got and then the shot. Infuriating.

  131. I love that Randle sucked on that shot so badly that it helped the Knicks out!

  132. This game. Have had to take a moment in the boardroom to compose myself. This game is not good for those of us currently in an open space office ha ha

  133. Not a fan of putting a cold guy who never played a playoff game to guard their best scorer

  134. They are very lucky that they have enough time here to win it with a three. Gotta go to Burks, right?

  135. Welp… so much for Frank stopping Trae’s drive.

    I hate to admit that Trae may very well be (or close to) a superstar offensive player, but…

  136. You can’t have Frank play a full nine seconds when he hasn’t done that all season. He was clearly gassed at the end of that play.

  137. Let’s hope that’s the last time Frank Ntilikina’s sorry ass steps on the floor for the Knicks

  138. They had IQ wandering away from the play. I don’t see that as the way to end it.

  139. We’re still the goddamned motherfucking Knicks I guess and we’re gonna lose to this piece of shit baiting fouls

  140. They had D-Rose and Taj on the floor. How did they not load the floor with shooters? Burks throwing the inbound pass? What?

  141. I see that getting beat by Trae Young is gonna feel like getting beat by Reggie back in the mid-90s.

    It’s OK. Lot’s to learn from this game. Randle has GOT to be better on Wednesday. RJ too to a lesser extent.

    We need to figure a way to defend that Trae p/r late in games. Rose and Burks are absolute gamers but they can’t D him.

  142. Randle stunk. And the Hawks got at least 5 free points from the refs.

    The whole “stars get the whistle” bullshit makes me really wonder why I watch the NBA.

  143. Well, we lost 1, now we gotta win the next one and then go steal a game in Atlanta

  144. Yeah, both of those final two possessions were not well played by the Knicks.

    Not happy with the loss of course, but let’s see if Randle shows up the rest of the series.

  145. Just brutal. That last play was garbage, and Frank got crossed up with no help coming. Argh.

    Mostly, though, Julius was terrible, and we had no answer for Trae….which we worried about.

    The playoffs are back, yay

  146. Need some major adjustments … painful

    Blitz the pick and roll and at least force Trae Young left….he’s looking like a superstar out there, not an all star, let’s force some hockey assists vs lobs and layups
    Julius needs to operate closer to the basket, and work his way out
    Payton needs to sit his ass on the bench from the get go
    We need to do a better job guarding the three point line …

  147. Strange lineup at the end. It should have been Quick at the logo or Burks shooting.

  148. Raven:
    They had IQ wandering away from the play. I don’t see that as the way to end it.

    Yeah, IQ is the one guy who is automatic from the logo. Nah, let’s try the fadeaway from our coldest shooter.

    And why is Burks making the inbound? Not even used as a decoy?

    Gotta say we were out-coached on the last two possessions.

  149. we basically have 7 home games so losing one at home isn’t the end of the world…. if randle is shooting like this or if the refs continue to give trae those calls then it’s going to be a short series tho….

    ruined what was a godly performance from burks….

  150. Julius Randle 6-24. Sorry Julius but this one’s on you.

    But:
    Reggie Bullock 0-5 3P
    RJ Barrett 1-6 3P

    And:
    Elfrid Payton 8 minutes, 0 points, 0-3, /- -2 in a game that we lost… by 2

    Every fucking minute counts, every fucking shot count.
    And still we played this guy just enough to lose.
    I hope this game was the final straw for Thibs, the guy must be glued to the bench and then disappear from our roster once and for all.

    Atlanta has more talent, it’s crystal clear, but we’re tougher and better coached (except for the last shot).

    Let’s go take the next one, Randle can’t play this bad again, the rest will follow.

  151. We lost out on coaching matchups. That’s a familiar refrain from a team who has over achieved. Thibs this one is in you!

  152. With 0.9 you need to get it to a guard there.

    So this is what losing a playoff game feels like. The team wasn’t “supposed” to make it this far, but it still sucks.

  153. Hahn is right, that 3 with 55 seconds left was killer.

    So can everyone intuit why Trae Young is eminently punchable now?

  154. It’s one game. The big problems are that Randle really struggled with the payoff pressure and may not play a lot better next game, we aren’t going to get a better game out of Burks than that, and the Hawks are the better team with home court now. I’m not sure what changes we can make. They simply have more weapons.

  155. Bad ending to a great game. If Julius plays only his third or fourth worst game of the year instead of his absolute worst, we’re good. Have to think he’ll be better than that the rest of the series. Thibs also kinda f’ed up uncharacteristically there at the end by putting in a guy who gets comically nervous in regular season garbage time situations. And also not having them prepared for the final play. Disappointing but not too discouraging.

  156. Also home court/field will always be the most overrated factor in sports.

  157. also… in a 2 pt game getting 8 minutes of essentially zero production from one of your ‘starters’ kind of matters… a lot…

  158. Though he didn’t have a good defensive game, gotta hope Noel can play. Taj’s slowness burned them on that last possession, along with Frank’s terrible defense.

  159. Max:
    Julius Randle 6-24. Sorry Julius but this one’s on you.

    But:
    Reggie Bullock 0-5 3P
    RJ Barrett 1-6 3P

    And:
    Elfrid Payton 8 minutes, 0 points, 0-3, +/- -2 in a game that we lost… by 2

    Every fucking minute counts, every fucking shot count.
    And still we played this guy just enough to lose.
    I hope this game was the final straw for Thibs, that guy must be glued to the bench and then disappear from our roster once and for all.

    Atlanta has more talent, it’s crystal clear, but we’re tougher and better coached (except for the last shot).

    Let’s go take the next one, Randle can’t play this bad again, the rest will follow.

    The only reason I feel for Payton is b/c if (or when) he loses his starting spot, he’s done. DONE. There’s no place for him coming off the bench with how he’s playing. He will literally be left behind.

    This is what needs to happen at this juncture, but still.

  160. rama’s cautious optimism was warranted:
    Hahn is right, that 3 with 55 seconds left was killer.

    So can everyone intuit why Trae Young is eminently punchable now?

    He’s shaping up to be this generation’s Reggie Miller. I’m down to throw a few body blows… lol

  161. The ending to Julius we all knew was coming. He’s the #1 so that’s how it goes. I was hoping for coach to go to either Quick or Burks but apparently the hot have approach didn’t get edge tonight.

  162. Who am I to criticize thibs but your starting pg should be the same guy you close with not a frank. Hopefully he learned his lesson about staring elf

  163. Brian Cronin:
    Really, every game we watch, it just makes me appreciate how much better Thibs is at coaching in the games than the other teams’ coaches. Maybe McMillan has other strengths, I assume he does, but in the game, Thibs makes him look like Fizdale in comparison.

    Thibs was outcoached by Nate tonight IMO. Not sure what you saw but the Knicks pnr defense strategy was terrible. Thibs rotations were also poor in that he played Rose too many minutes. And one other major thing Thibs could not figure out was how to deal with Capela’s soft doubles on Randle. Sorry but Thibs got shellacked tonight.

  164. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Hack Trae Young until he stops moving

    Miss that 90’s Knicks D, dontcha?

    The problem is either you send him to the line, or he threads the needle to shooters. With that said, I wonder if the Knicks could get away with some type of more physical approach with him.

  165. Nate figured out thibs and knew he had no answer for trae and that’s all she wrote. His lack of creativity cost is the home court advantage

  166. cgreene: Thibs was outcoached by Nate tonight IMO.Not sure what you saw but the Knicks pnr defense strategy was terrible. Thibs rotations were also poor in that he played Rose too many minutes. And one other major thing Thibs could not figure out was how to deal with Capela’s soft doubles on Randle. Sorry but Thibs got shellacked tonight.

    If we can take away Trae’s passing lanes when he drives, that would be a start. But even then, you need a guard that can stay in front of him without fouling to challenge those fucking floaters. Ugh…

  167. What a game! As a fan, I’m grateful for a great season, which was totally unexpected, and a team that keeps fighting to the end every single match.

    Win or lose, the added bonus now is that this series is going to tell us a lot about whether or not Randle is a bonafide star and deserves a near max contract. The team will be better off having this knowledge.

  168. Chinese blog comment:

    If you asked me at the beginning of the season if I would be glued to my screen watching hawks-knicks in the playoffs,,, I’d be damned

  169. I don’t think we should put too much weight on the last two plays or coaching.

    Trae made a great play to score at the end using his elite handle and speed. No one was going to stop Trae there without fouling him.

    It’s also tough to execute a good play with less than 1 second to go. The Hawks were trying to take away anything that would allow us to get off a split second shot. We had some guys in motion but no one was open. They defended it well.

    Saying it was Thibs fault is idiocy and doesn’t deserve comment.

    The problem wasn’t anything we did or did not do late or during the game. The problem was they have more weapons than us and our #1 and #2 struggled shooting with playoff pressure. I think it’s reasonable to complain about how the refs changed down the stretch and started calling it tight. It’s usually the other way around. But our playoff inexperienced players have to shoot better for us to have any chance against a better team.

    THE PROBLEM IS THEY ARE BETTER

  170. cgreene: Thibs was outcoached by Nate tonight IMO.Not sure what you saw but the Knicks pnr defense strategy was terrible. Thibs rotations were also poor in that he played Rose too many minutes. And one other major thing Thibs could not figure out was how to deal with Capela’s soft doubles on Randle. Sorry but Thibs got shellacked tonight.

    Give some credit to Trae tho. He made excellent decisions with the ball down the stretch, and they got bailed out on that bullshit-ass, lucky-ass 3ptr from Bog in the corner. Also, they were ready for Randle and he didn’t respond well.

    Think of it this way: Many things went wrong for us today offensively and we only lost by two b/c of Trae.

    Obi deserved more minutes in the 2nd half. I understand why Thibs would not take Randle out in the 4th in a playoff game, but Obi was on the floor when the Knicks stabilized themselves in the 2nd quarter.

  171. As a non-partial observer who actually watched a good portion of this game, I’m not sure what the complaining about the refs is all about. Objectively, it seemed like a nicely paced game and the refs knew the 15,000 people in the building weren’t risking catching a social disease just to watch them blow whistles.

    As for Trae, he definitely channeled the ghost of Reggie at the end there, but if it’s any solace it appears that in very short time he will also have Reggie’s hairdo as well.

  172. On the field McMillan was just as bad,
    his rotations were shaky and he was saved by Lou Williams going into a time machine,
    a lucky prayer from Bogdanovic and a total reverse from the refs that allowed Young to live at the line in the fourth.

    But he won this game in the press conference,
    It cost him 25K to “program” the refs to whistle anything with the game on the line,
    otherwise his “accusations” would have sound true.

    The truth is that Atlanta is a more talented team,
    we need to be close to perfect and despite Burks’ miracles we can’t survive a game like this from our best player(s).

    Bench outscored the starters 64-41, it’s hard to win this way,
    the fact that we had a chance with Randle, Barrett and Bullock shooting 15-47 is a minor miracle.

  173. Obviously, I disagree about Nate vs. Thibs. Nate’s coaching was basically, “Give it to Trae and let Trae be Trae.” Trae was outstanding, but I don’t think any of that was coaching beyond I guess putting him in the game?

  174. Brian Cronin:
    Obviously, I disagree about Nate vs. Thibs. Nate’s coaching was basically, “Give it to Trae and let Trae be Trae.” Trae was outstanding, but I don’t think any of that was coaching beyond I guess putting him in the game?

    Not so much Nate being great, but that was a strange play that Thibs set up to end the game.

  175. Donnie,

    Typically playoff games are more physical and have fewer soft fouls called. Then down the stretch they let it get even more physical. In this game they were calling it like the typical playoff game for 3 quarters but then they tightened it up and were gifting Trae free throws on marginal contact that wouldn’t have been called earlier in the game. That’s the opposite of what you’d expect. It’s the inconsistency of the foul calls and how it favored Trae in the 4th quarter that was a bit frustrating.

  176. I just got home and turned on MSG. My god, please fire Wally. He’s going on and on about what a clear foul that was on Trae Young and being such a dick about it, too. Fuck that guy man.

  177. This was first playoff game jitters. I had to leave to pick up my wife from a friends house and listened to Brendan Brown on the way. He made a good point. Although McMillan didn’t double Julius a lot, what he did was have Capella leave his man and flood baseline corner where Julius loves to operate. He took away the option to go there and that threw him off his game.

  178. People are blaming Thibs for not drawing up a better play with .9 secs left on the clock? Seriously? On another note the Knicks sure could use Mitchell Robinson in this series, he can drop down on the pick n roll and still be able to contest Young’s floaters.

  179. BigBlueAL:
    People are blaming Thibs for not drawing up a better play with .9 secs left on the clock?Seriously?

    Absolutely. I don’t think Julius should have taken the shot. IQ, Burks, Reggie, all should have been on the floor with someone other than Burks making the inbound pass. That said, I admit Thibs is a way better coach than I am ;-)

    On another note the Knicks sure could use Mitchell Robinson in this series, he can drop down on the pick n roll and still be able to contest Young’s floaters.

    No doubt. What’s Mitch’s status? Especially, because Noel went down and never came back. No update on him in the post game (that I saw anyway).

  180. So can everyone intuit why Trae Young is eminently punchable now?

    hahaha. Rama’s pre-series call on Trae was so spot on we just didn’t know it.

  181. I think Thibs needs to get over whatever bullshit he needs to get over when it comes to Quickley, and fast. Quickley is one of our best players and he needs to play. Elfrid Payton is one of the worst players in the postseason and needs to stop playing. It’s really simple. Fuck the rookie bullshit. Quickley can start. TRAE YOUNG NEEDS TO BE EXPLOITED ON DEFENSE!

  182. >I just got home and turned on MSG. My god, please fire Wally. He’s going on and on about what a clear foul that was on Trae Young and being such a dick about it, too.<

    They need someone in the studio that knows the Xs and Os. That’s what makes guys like Van Gundy and some other ex coaches really good on broadcasts. They bring something to the table that adds to your understanding of what’s going on.

  183. Hate Garden playoff losses. Detest them. Unbelievable atmosphere, too.

    Kind of the nightmare scenario; squandered possessions with Elf, 2 point loss. Shitty end of the third quarter, up 7, Lou hits a two, lame offensive possession, Lou hits a 3.

    RJ anticipated that pass perfectly and it bounced luckily to Bogie who hit the killer three.

    Not a fan of putting guys in cold and to make it worse, Burks, Frank, and Bullock were completely confused about who was supposed to guard who. Like seriously.

    Randle’s gotta play better and they have to figure out a way to stop Trae. Bottom line. Certainly possible.

  184. Yeah, I got back home and heard Wally prattling on about how Thibs has to keep working Elf’s confidence and Elf is a really good defender.

    Sure thing, Wally.

  185. Typically playoff games are more physical and have fewer soft fouls called. Then down the stretch they let it get even more physical. In this game they were calling it like the typical playoff game for 3 quarters but then they tightened it up and were gifting Trae free throws on marginal contact that wouldn’t have been called earlier in the game.

    Strat nailed it. Trae had like 2 FTA in the first three quarters or something like that, then 7 FTA in the fourth, many of those on very light incidental type contact. I may not have the numbers exactly correct but it really was like all of a sudden the “star player gets the whistle” cheat code got activated.

  186. People are blaming Thibs for not drawing up a better play with .9 secs left on the clock? Seriously?

    It was a terrible play call, why would anyone not blame him for drawing up a terrible play?

  187. Hubert: I mean, it’s not Thibs’ fault we lost but that was a pretty shitty play, don’t you think?

    Exactly.

    And if any of IQ, Burks, Reggie, or even RJ had missed that last shot, I doubt anyone would be saying: Man, I really wish Julius had taken it. Not tonight, anyway.

    Regardless. Playoff basketball! Down to the wire! Our main guy stunk up the joint, and we only lost by two! We got this series.

    PS — GoNYGoNY, I hope Thibs gets some of that Brendan Brown intel, like you did.

  188. I do think we should just start Rose and use Quickley as the backup PG when Rose needs to rest. This is what Atlanta is doing with Trae and Lou Williams. Elf is unplayable and so is the French guy with the headband. Tighten up the rotation, we have enough guards to get by without playing the shitty ones.

  189. Not so much Nate being great, but that was a strange play that Thibs set up to end the game.

    I’ll agree that the last play call was awful, but otherwise, I think Thibs coached well.

  190. Even if I (strongly) disagree,
    I somewhat understand why he tried Payton one more time
    (Rose, IQ and Burks can’t stay with Trae… or Sweet Lou)
    and to his merit had a quick-and-quicker hook with him,
    the problem is that Payton’s really become unplayable,
    he gives me Chuck Knoblauch’s/Steve Sax’s yips vibes.

    I just hope this was his last chance.

    And Hubert is right, to counter Young you need to exploit him on defense, make him work, make him tire…

  191. This was the first time in a post game interview Thibs looked so upset by a loss he didn’t want to deal with the media. It’s understandable because it was a tough loss, at home, in a game where we had the lead for much of the 4th quarter. It looked like he just wanted to get out of there. He kept saying “I have to look at the film”.

  192. The truth is that Atlanta is a more talented team,

    I didn’t come away with that impression at all. The only problem I saw tonight was that our guy was stoppable and their guy wasn’t.

  193. Obviously not Thibs’ fault for the loss, but yeah that last play was terrible. Honestly looked like a turn around mid range shot for the tie was the #1 option (nobody else had any sets to get open, and Burks was inbounding??? Really?). Not even enough time to get it off, let alone Randle being 6-23.

  194. Side note… David Guetta played at halftime, which led to my favorite line of the night from the guy behind me:

    “It’s 82 degrees outside, 15,000 people are indoors without a mask, and David Guetta is playing. We’ve gone full Florida.”

  195. GoNYGoNYGo – Gearing up for the playoffs:
    This was first playoff game jitters. I had to leave to pick up my wife from a friends house and listened to Brendan Brown on the way. He made a good point. Although McMillan didn’t double Julius a lot, what he did was have Capella leave his man and flood baseline corner where Julius loves to operate. He took away the option to go there and that threw him off his game.

    That’s exactly what I was saying when I referred to the soft doubles. Capela was just overloading the side but not actually doubling. My question is what was Thibs counter? He seems like he did not have one.

  196. I was at the game and have to say the atmosphere was insane. Felt like the 90’s again, I think part of it is that the corporate types and hotel guests were few and far between.

    2 key moments that decided the game IMO, both involving RJ:

    – Missed a wide open 3 that right before the end of the 3rd quarter would have put us up 10. Not sure the Hawks recover from that

    – Deflects a pass that falls right to Bogdanovich for a game tying 3 with under a minute left. Killer play

  197. I am actually less concerned about the play call at the end although it sucked and more concerned with the counters to the Capela/Young pnr and the Capela overloads against Randle. Those were the big strategy plays in the game and I thought Thibs did poorly on both.

  198. >It was a terrible play call, why would anyone not criticize it?<

    There are very few good plays with less than 1 second left. Think of all the times late in games teams can’t even get the ball in play and have to call timeout to draw something up just to inbound the ball, let alone get off a good shot with less than 1 second. The Knicks had players in motion trying to get a quick open shot but no one was open. The Hawks defended well. Getting a good shot there would have been a surprise success even if we missed.

  199. Still on the train on the way home from the game, totally wiped out. Couldn’t even get drunk because it was impossible to get a beer. Great crowd, crazy loud from beginning to end. Shame we couldn’t pull it out.

  200. I hate to say it, but Atlanta just seems like the better team. This is going to be a tough series and if they pull it out they’ll be a handful for anybody. If we win, man, that would be unbelievable, with us depending on two rookies to have great games.

  201. also… in a 2 pt game getting 8 minutes of essentially zero production from one of your ‘starters’ kind of matters… a lot…

    Yeah, we really need to put to rest this idea that “it doesn’t matter if Payton sucks as long as he has a quick leash”.

    It’s a real problem. I don’t think it cost us the game tonight but we have to stop doing it. Rose and Quickley can play 48 minutes of PG. I don’t care who starts or how you use them, just do it.

  202. Hubert: I didn’t come away with that impression at all. The only problem I saw tonight was that our guy was stoppable and there guy wasn’t.

    I agree with Hubert. We’re as good as Atlanta. We lost by two points and not only was Julius off tonight, but Reggie had nothing, either. Of course Burks won’t pour in 27 every game, but he’s usually good for double figures. We just need to straighten out our set offense.

    Tonight (eye test alert) it seemed like both Randle and Rj started with poor percentage shots — long threes instead of corner threes, for example. And then it all got worse, especially for Julius, when they realized they weren’t going in. I wish they would open games by pounding the paint until they get in a rhythm.

    Also, the announcer made an interesting point that last year Atlanta had a worse record than us, and this year they have the same record. By comparison, they feel slighted by all the hype about the Knicks being “back.” Never thought about it. Could have a point.

  203. RJ Barret dunk could have a louder cheer than Brooklyn’w winning the championship.
    SHame on you KD you should be the GOAT if you have the guts to join the knicks

  204. There are very few good plays with less than 1 second left. Think of all the times late in games teams can’t even get the ball in play and have to call timeout to draw something up just to inbound the ball, let alone get off a good shot with less than 1 second. The Knicks had players in motion trying to get a quick open shot but no one was open. The Hawks defended well. Getting a good shot there would have been a surprise success even if we missed.

    While I disagree in general (teams draw up good one second plays all of the time), I think the biggest standout problem of the play was that Burks was in-bounding. How is he not on the court to possibly get the ball?

  205. Watching the gamehighlights hope we bounce back.
    A lot of 50/50 plays went to them. we should have won this game but hope we dont get a Magic – Rockets finals vibe. Bounce back strong.

  206. The Hawks did a decent job on Randle, but he missed a ton of mid range shots that have been money all season.

    I expect a much better showing in game 2.

  207. ***Typically playoff games are more physical and have fewer soft fouls called. Then down the stretch they let it get even more physical.***

    I understand this, but it’s not like the Knicks played a great game and deserved to win but had it ripped away by the refs. Randle was a Starksian 6-23. Aside from Quickley and Burks they were 5-23 from 3. If anything, they were lucky that Trae wasn’t getting calls early, as the Knicks still took 4 more FTs than the Hawks. I get that passions run high, but griping about the refs seems kind of petty. I thought it was an entertaining game between two well matched teams. The Knicks would have won if they’d shot better, with or without the refs blowing whistles.

  208. -No more Payton minutes. I have no idea what has happened to the guy but he’s completely useless out there.

    -You need to get a damn shot off on that last possession. I don’t care if it’s some wild ass 3PT attempt—the ball needs to be going towards the basket before the game clock expires. No excuses for anything else.

    -Randle’s game tonight was the kind of game I was expecting to see from him early in the season when I was expecting him to regress. That never really happened, but it sure seems hard to score efficiently on a steady diet of the most difficult and least efficient shots in the game.

    -Quickley not playing at all in the 3rd (I think, didn’t check) was a mistake.

    -I thought our defense was pretty good. Lost because of missed easy looks in the first, primarily.

    -Fuck Trae Young.

  209. ***While I disagree in general (teams draw up good one second plays all of the time), I think the biggest standout problem of the play was that Burks was in-bounding. How is he not on the court to possibly get the ball?***

    Good point, Brian. Often the in-bounder is ignored and can get the ball back, but with .9 secs left that isn’t even possible, so, yeah, put the shooters on the floor. (And, ideally, have penny hardaway throw the ball to a cutting Nazr Mohammed for a slam, which was Lenny Wilkens’ pet play back in ‘05, and was, I think, the last Knick coach I ever saw actually win a game. Not sure what I’ve missed since then…)

  210. so bullock was drawing some trae assignments with either payton or rose on the court… which makes a lot of sense and also doesn’t.. because why the hell are you playing payton if you were going to do that?

    anyway… it was pretty effective the few possessions that happened since young always had issues with size… and bullock is great vs the pnr and against dribble drives … i imagine whether or not payton plays again we’ll see a lot more of that…

    the problem is when bullock doesn’t shoot that well and he has to sit… a lot of young’s damage did come against rose … noel didn’t play a great game either as he got exploited by both capela and young on a handful of possessions… taj probably did better defensively but not sure if that continues….

  211. What’s with the Thibs hate? We would watching Knicks basketball right now if not for him.

  212. Hawks fans complaining about the win improvement narrative is ridiculous. The Hawks went out and signed Bogdanovic and Gallinari, plus they added Capela. Everyone thought they were going to be a good team.

    The Knicks added 2 backup players who are getting paid nearly half of what either Gallo or Bogdanovic are making individually ($11M vs $20M/yr & $18M/yr). We have the same starting lineup as last year except Mitch is injured.

    I absolutely would not be as excited about this Knicks team if we finished with this record and were capped out for the foreseeable future like the Hawks are (unless they let Collins walk).

  213. Fwiw, I was half expecting Thibs to call a timeout and yank Elf 15 seconds into the 3rd after he bricked that first shot.

    He ended up with a Nitlikina line in 8 min 0-3 0/0/1

  214. “It got real quiet in the end…”

    He really wants that Reggie Miller smoke, doesn’t he?

    You had a real good game Trae. And if you think those “Fuck Trae Young” chants can’t get any more venomous then you just don’t know New York too well.

  215. Early Bird:
    Hawks fans complaining about the win improvement narrative is ridiculous. The Hawks went out and signed Bogdanovic and Gallinari, plus they added Capela. Everyone thought they were going to be a good team.

    The Knicks added 2 backup players who are getting paid nearly half of what either Gallo or Bogdanovic are making individually ($11M vs $20M/yr & $18M/yr). We have the same starting lineup as last year except Mitch is injured.

    I absolutely would not be as excited about this Knicks team if we finished with this record and were capped out for the foreseeable future like the Hawks are (unless they let Collins walk).

    I mean, it depends on how you feel about the growth of Young (true superstar?) and Hunter right? And whether you can find an upgrade for Collins if he walks.

    SIDEBAR: Of all the teams, The Knicks should have the least concern having to go on the road to win at least one game. The ATL is a city full of big-city transplants like New Yorkers, and if any of you know anyone that’s a ride-or-die Hawks fan, please let me know… lol

  216. Yeah having to go to Atlanta to win a game shouldn’t exactly be a tough environment. Problem is gonna be taking care of business in Game 2, Hawks can come out that game and play care free which could be a good or bad thing for the Knicks.

  217. just finished the game, that sucked…hopefully julius doesn’t have too many more performances like that…

  218. I watched the foul on Trae at the end. It looked to me like there was contact, but it was enough before the shot it shouldn’t have been a shooting foul

  219. I also finished watching the game. Atmosphere was incredible. Amazing to have the Garden back in full force. However, the chances of winning games where Randle goes 6-23 and hesitates to shoot are small. It might be an eye test thing but he didn’t look right the entire game. I’m glad to have playoff basketball back but it’s painful coming out on the short end of the stick after waiting for so long.

  220. Knick fan not in NJ:
    I watched the foul on Trae at the end.It looked to me like there was contact, but it was enough before the shot it shouldn’t have been a shooting foul

    I think we’re in penalty.. that’s still a bad call and the refs should’ve just let them play

  221. I hope Thibs looks at ways to expose Young on defense in the next game. There was a play in the crucial stage of the 4th where RJ backed him down for a quick 2. We never went to RJ again and I think that we should take advantage of that. Whoever Young guards must attack him bring him to the post, drive on him whatever it takes. If the Hawks double then make the extra pass, we have the shooters.

  222. Hey look, if Memphis can escape the play-in and then go up and beat Utah in game 1, anything is possible.

  223. I think we ought to be mindful of how challenging it was for our team to go from playing in empty arenas to the loudest arena possible last night. The crowd’s energy seemed like something they struggled to adjust to in the 1st half.

    I’m surprised by some of the resignation here. The Hawks played a great game, got all the help in the world from the refs, we played like shit, and it was still a coin flip. This was not a “they’re just better” situation.

    Trae Young is hard to stop but there’s no reason to be distraught. There are plenty of adjustments to be made, and I trust Thibs to make them. Last night was not Thibs’ best night but give him a break. People out here acting like it’s easy to just draw up a play that stops trae young or makes Julius Randle not hesitate.

    Unless Julius Randle shits the bed 3 more times, I expect things to turn around.

  224. Hubert:
    I think we ought to be mindful of how challenging it was for our team to go from playing in empty arenas to the loudest arena possible last night. The crowd’s energy seemed like something they struggled to adjust to in the 1st half.

    I’m surprised by some of the resignation here. The Hawks played a great game, got all the help in the world from the refs, we played like shit, and it was still a coin flip. This was not a “they’re just better” situation.

    Trae Young is hard to stop but there’s no reason to be distraught. There are plenty of adjustments to be made, and I trust Thibs to make them. Last night was not Thibs’ best night but give him a break. People out here acting like it’s easy to just draw up a play that stops trae young or makes Julius Randle not hesitate.

    Unless Julius Randle shits the bed 3 more times, I expect things to turn around.

    Just to clarify, I’m not distraught at all. It was a very disappointing, even disheartening loss. It just seemed to me that ATL at their best is better than us at our best. We were not at our best last night and you certainly could argue that if we play better or they play worse we will beat them. Obviously some adjustments are necessary. But I am worried that they are simply better offensively and good enough defensively to win 4 out of 7 games in the same manner they won this one. ATL certainly did not play their best game and have lots of upside. And Nate is a solid coach, not Thibs, but sort of General Grant to Thibs’ General Lee…he has a personnel advantage that can overcome any differences in coaching.

    But all that said, I think we win game 2 on our way to a long series.

  225. We also made a whole bunch of unforced errors…which can be cleaned up, but that’s what happens in pretty much every series…the winner makes fewer errors than the losers.

  226. And Nate is a solid coach, not Thibs, but sort of General Grant to Thibs’ General Lee…

    Nate brought his A game. He worked the refs in the media and he devised a plan to stop Randle from dominating them like he did in the reg season. I tip my cap to him. But also think he used his bazooka in game 1 and I wonder if he’s got any more rounds left to shoot. I trust Randle to adjust to what the Hawks threw at him.

  227. If it were not for Thibs, we’d be talking about who won American Idol last night and not about a Knicks playoff game. Sure his last second play call wasn’t optimal but it was going to be a prayer no matter what play was called.

  228. What a game. Such a bummer that it ended in a loss but man, watching that game on TV the Garden felt electric. Can’t imagine what it was like in there. Even with the loss, I’m super jealous of all of you who got to go.

    Here are my thoughts.

    I don’t think Atlanta is more talented but I do think its basically dead even and its going to take everything we got to beat them.

    I think the moment kind of got to them, especially early. To go from 2,000 to 5,000 fans to a basically packed Garden for the first playoff game and the first one in 8 years, first one for Randle, RJ, etc. I think it kind of messed with them especially in the first quarter. I mean Randle, RJ and Bullock missed all of their 3’s. RJ is much improved but that’s shooting in largely empty gyms all season. I think that jitters and the crowd actually hurt them to start.

    The game was really lost for me at the end of the 3rd quarter. They had 2 opportunities to extend it to a double digit lead and turned the ball over, got a charge. That allowed Atlanta to stay in it.

    We have to figure out Trae. My solution would be to go after him on defense. Try to get him into foul trouble on that end.

    Elf didn’t actively hurt us so I don’t think you can blame this one on him per say. Randle really is the culprit. BUT that being said, Elf also gave us nothing really and those minutes are valuable especially when he’s matched up against Trae. I would start Rose and extend the leash for Quickley. I also don’t think putting Frank in for one play at the very end is smart. If you’re going to do this situational thing with him you gotta do it throughout the game at the end of the quarters so he isn’t totally cold.

    I still think we can take this series. Atlanta isn’t going to have a huge home court advantage. If Randle has the jitters out of him, I think we win this.

  229. Also, even though we lost and even though our star had a horrible game, I was really happy to see Quickley and Toppin play so well especially in the 2nd quarter. That was a great thing to behold, especially Obi. I don’t know what the future holds for Obi on The Knicks playing the same position as Randle but he has come a long way this season from the start. I wish he’d played a little more in the second half.

    Also, even though RJ didn’t hit any 3’s, I did really like his energy and aggressiveness going to the rim. I think he needs to attack more like that and try to draw more fouls. I think we got sucked in a little by Atlanta’s energy of running and gunning and we need to grind this series out if we’re going to win. This was very apparent in the third quarter when we were ahead but couldn’t extend the lead. We got caught up in the crowd and tried to push things too much and made some mistakes and turnovers that allowed Atlanta to stay in it.

  230. Randle passed up an open three near the end of the game and I thought how funny it was that I was mad at him for that. We have come a long way. He hit one shortly thereafter.

    This series is far from over but that was a very tough loss.

  231. I picked Atlanta to win in the poll the other day (in six) but that was a very winnable game yesterday and we didn’t get the bounces. It was really fun to watch the Knicks in a competitive playoff game against a good team after such a long time even though the end sucked. Any word on Nerlens? I took a quick look this morning and couldn’t find anything. We might get swept if he can’t go.

  232. I need to stop going to ESPN for my news. Featured story: “Jay Williams calls out AD.” Who gives a mother fuck about Jay Williams and his stupid fucking opinions?

    Also, American Idol still exists?

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