From Marc Berman:
These two old rivals could well meet again in the NBA’s one-game, play-in event. Maybe then the slumping Knicks could turn this recent heartbreak into a something joyful.
Another defensive slugfest turned bitter and sour at the end as the Celtics rallied from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and eked out a 101-99 victory over the Knicks at TD Garden on Wednesday.
The Knicks have lost five of six games and are now 2-8 in contests decided by three points or fewer this season. Losing nailbiters to top teams has been their recent modus operandi. Just ask the Nets, Sixers and Heat.
“It’s annoying losing these two-point games,’’ RJ Barrett said. “They’re frustrating and annoying.’’
A wide-open Marcus Smart hit the game-clinching 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to break the tie. Knicks shooting guard Reggie Bullock decided to double Jayson Tatum (25 points) on the play and leave Smart open. The Knicks paid the price.
“Anytime you commit to putting two on the ball, you’ve got to understand what you’re willing — you’re going to be vulnerable in another area,’’ Knicks coach Thibodeau said. “You don’t want to give up open shots. And so, they have two dynamic scores in Tatum and [Jaylen] Brown. So you go in with you’re game plan. You know that, particularly in the fourth quarter, you have to be committed to putting two on to them, so that’s part of it.’’
I dunno, man, I really don’t feel these losses as hard as it seem the rest of you do. Once again, a Knick hit a big shot to tie the game late in the game against a pretty good team (the Harden/Durant-less Nets don’t rise beyond “pretty good”) and then they just couldn’t pull it out in the end. Is it frustrating? Sure, but they weren’t blown out. Getting blown out is the worst. Close games are good.
They’re good enough not to get blown out. That’s a good thing.
They’re just not all that good enough overall, that’s the bigger issue. But 2-8 in close games is practically meaningless from a “What are they doing wrong?” perspective.
Thibs had an encouraging line when someone asked him if Quickley was shooting too many floaters, ““I actually like the shot profile. The floater is a big part of the game. I think he’s got one of the best ones in the league. There’s going to be ebbs and flows to the season. As long as he’s taking the right shot. His shot selection is very good.”
Maybe play him more than 13 minutes then, Thibs.