A competitive loss for the New York Knicks was a positive

Nov 14, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks began their tough end of November schedule in Philadelphia.  To be honest, the Knicks were not suppose to be as competitive as they were last evening.  The Knicks fell to the Sixers 109-104 but they battled.

The Knicks kept it together aa team for the entire first half.  They were able to hold their own against one of the best overall teams in the Eastern Conference.  The Knicks did not back down from their opponent and took it to them, for the most part.

Usually, as all fans know, the Knicks have a big let down in the third quarter.  But not this night.  The Knicks came out on the second half like a team on fire.  There was energy on both sides of the ball and they were hitting all their shots.

A few weeks ago, it was the Bobby Portis game in the Garden.  Last night, it was the Taj Gibson and Frank Ntilikina game.  Ntilikina played by far the best game he’s ever played as a New York Knick.  He had 17 points on 6-8 shooting and had stellar defense throughout the game.  It was by far the best shooting performance of his young career and the confidence was oozing outta him.

Taj Gibson helped provide more great defense for the Knicks and was also everywhere on the court.  He also made Joel Embiid dance has he added 11 points on 5-6 shooting.  Gibson and Ntilikina’s defense also sparked the Knicks offense as they couldn’t miss in the 3rd, jumping out to a quick 17-point lead.  Despite the losses, Gibson is making the starting lineup more consistent.

However, as Knicks fans are always aware, a let down is constantly lingering.  Once coach David Fizdale subbed out Ntilikina late in the third, the Sixers went on their run.  The defense simply couldn’t keep up in transition and the Sixers were hitting every shot as compared to the Knicks, who weren’t.

The game was lost down the stretch, once again, by Julius Randle and Marcus Morris.  Those two are both good and bad for the Knicks.  They always want the ball in crunch time and take contested shots at the wrong time.  There were multiple occasions where Morris and Randle took bad shots when the ball needs to be moved for a better shot.

However, despite the loss, the New York Knicks needs to leave Philadelphia with their heads held high and remain positive.  That game was a positive step in the progression of this team.  The Knicks are still far from a playoff team but being competitive against a good, young Sixers team is good for the, also, young team.  If any loss was a good loss, this was it.  Knicks face the San Antonio Spurs this Saturday at 7:30 at the Garden.