3 main takeaways as Knicks blow double-digit lead in loss to Toronto

knicks, tom thibodeau

The New York Knicks dropped their second game of the season on Monday evening against the Toronto Raptors. Allowing 113 points, the Knicks failed to lock down a Raptors team who was coming off three consecutive wins against poor Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic teams.

Despite the Knicks shooting an impressive 43.2% from deep, they were unable to walk away with a win, a result that head coach Tom Thibodeau will undoubtedly be sour about. Considering he relies on elite defense as the identity of his squad, this performance will irk him.

Three main takeaways for Knicks in loss to Toronto:

1.) Out-rebounded

The Knicks only earned seven offensive rebounds against the Raptors on Monday, but their opponents posted 13, showcasing far more physicality and efficiency in the paint. OG Anunoby posted three offensive rebounds himself, and center Khem Birch contributed four.

If the Knicks want to win more games, specifically during the postseason, they need to show more physicality and better positioning regarding rebounding. Mitchell Robinson contributed five, but the rest of the team was unresponsive. They clearly miss Nerlens Noel and his dominance in the paint.

2.) RJ Barrett is still playing on fire

For the third consecutive game, guard RJ Barrett had a solid performance, posting 27 points, six rebounds, and one steal. He shot 5-of-8 from three-point range and 9-of-13 from the field over 39 minutes. While Barrett did record a -13 +/-, turning the ball over four times, his scoring production has been impressive.

Barrett will undoubtedly be upset with his defensive performance, but he has been solid in that regard the past few games.

3.) Ugly defense

The Knicks ranked 22nd in fast-break points allowed before Monday’s game, and the Raptors posted 22 fast breakpoints on them, while the Knicks post to just three points in transition. This is an incredibly disappointing statistic, given Obi Toppin’s capabilities as a transition player. Not a single starter for New York had a positive +/-.

Thibodeau will be livid with their defensive performance, and they will look to turn things around against the Pacers on Wednesday evening at 7 PM. Luckily, the Pacers are struggling this year at 2-6, despite routing the San Antonio Spurs 131–118 to open the week.

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