How the Knicks can get back on track against the Cavs in Game 3

julius randle, knicks
Apr 18, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) defends Cleveland Cavaliers forward Evan Mobley (4) during the second half of game two of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks dropped Game 2 last night in a rather rough display. Darius Garland had their number all night, and the Knicks didn’t have an answer for him. He dropped 32 points with 7 assists and was in his bag. If the Knicks want to win this series, they have to find a solution for both Garland and Mitchell, as either guy could go off like they did last night. 

In last night’s game, it was pretty apparent that Josh Hart wasn’t his usual self. He was already questionable before the game with a sprained ankle, but you could tell that he wasn’t attacking the same, nor was he as dominant on the defensive end. Hart is a key component for the Knicks being able to win this series, so hopefully, he’ll be healthy for Game 3 on Friday. 

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Now heading back to New York for Game 3, it’s all hands on deck for the Knicks:

The Knicks’ offense was struggling all night, and only putting up 90 points isn’t going to get the job done. No one was able to get anything rolling for the entire night, as Randle led all scorers on the team with 22 points on an inefficient 8-20 from the field. If New York wants to win this series, they’re going to need everyone to step up. 

IQ was better in Game 2 than Game 1, but 12 points from a guy with his knack for aggression on the offensive side isn’t going to be enough to get the job done. Brunson also had a rough night, with just 20 points on a shotty 5-17 shooting. He wasn’t in his bag, and the 1-8 from deep didn’t help the team get any closer in the game. 

The Knicks were down 39-59 at the half, and at that point, it seemed like they weren’t in it to win it. They head back to MSG on Friday, and hopefully, they’ll be able to take the series lead before the going gets tough. It’s only round one, and it’s going to get tougher from here, so they need to make these games count and get them out of the way quickly.

They also need more from their centers in game 3, as Mobley and Allen have been outplaying both Robinson and Hartenstein. The Knicks have a great squad, they just need all hands on deck. Putting up 90 against one of the better offensive teams in the East won’t get the job done, but I believe they’ll pick up the slack on Friday.