You know the Knicks had a bad night when they missed their first 10 shots of the game and that wasn’t their worst stretch of play.
The Knicks saved that for the fourth quarter, when they scored just eight points on 2-of-19 shooting. The Bulls’ Doug McDermott outscored Chicago by himself that quarter (11-8). Chicago won that quarter 31-8 and the game comfortably.
After the game, Knicks’ coach Derek Fisher was understandably pissed, as reported by the New York Post’s Marc Berman.
“We don’t want to be front-runners — guys who can play hard when things are going well,’’ Fisher said. “We don’t want to be a team when it starts to rain a little bit, we give in. I thought we gave in a little bit there in the fourth quarter.
“We had shots that didn’t go in in the fourth quarter, and I thought we got discouraged and the energy turned around the other way and it snowballed from there. There should’ve been enough left in the tank.’’
Fisher is trying to motivate the troops — that’s what he’s there to do. The team seemed distracted, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise in the wake of the Cleanthony Early situation. Fisher wants to get their focus back — but don’t dance around the word “soft” if you want to use it, Derek.
This is a team with playoff aspirations that is now four games out of the final playoff spot in the East and has a couple of decent teams to pass (Detroit, Charlotte) if they are going to make it. The Knicks should be playing with some desperation right now, they have work to do, and instead they came out and played like J.R. Smith on an early Sunday start time. Knicks fans were pissed, and they had every right to be.
For all the hope Kristaps Porzingis provides for the future, there are still a lot of questions about this roster that need to be answered. And dealt with.