Knicks shooting woes hurting chances at victory

Josh Hart, New York Knicks
Feb 11, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) talks with guard Josh Hart (3) during the second half against the Utah Jazz at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks lost their third consecutive game Saturday to the Los Angeles Clippers 106-95, a game in which the Knicks shot with horrible efficiency all-around and was eerily reminiscent of their early season struggles.

New York shot 35.6% from the field Saturday, their lowest mark since Nov. 18 against the Warriors, where they shot 34.5%. Their 22.6% rate from outside the arc is their fourth worst in a single game this season.

Six Knicks players took at least eight shots Saturday, and the most efficient out of that select group of players was Immanuel Quickley, who shot 44% from the field and scored 26 points in the loss.

The Knicks need to give Julius Randle support:

All-Star Julius Randle had by far his worst game of his resurgent season, shooting a rancid 5-24 from the field with 19 points and picking up a technical foul late in the third quarter.

The loss dropped the Knicks back down to the sixth seed and one game behind in the loss column to the Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings.

While Saturday’s game is a bit of an outlier, given that Jalen Brunson was unavailable to play, it has still felt like the Knicks have taken a step back from what made this team so dominant during their nine-game winning streak.

Saturday’s performance was a haunting nightmare of last season in which every game felt inconsistent, and this season has been one that can only be described as an emotional roller coaster. After rolling off an eight-game winning streak earlier this season, they followed it up with a five-game losing streak. Now, after a nine-game win streak, they have dropped three straight.

Is it fatigue? Is it because of no Brunson? What is going on with this Knicks team right now?

Whatever it is, things need to turn around now. Luckily for them, they are still sitting relatively comfortably to avoid the play-in, as they currently remain three games up on the struggling Miami Heat.

However, getting the fifth seed is instrumental if the Knicks would like to have a good shot at winning their first playoff series in about a decade. Head coach Tom Thibodeau said during the win streak that he didn’t want his team to “get lost in the wrong things.”

As of now, the hangover of an exhausting but thrilling winning streak may still be in effect for this Knicks squad. It’s time for the guys to step it up, especially without Brunson for the immediate future.

The Knicks will try to get back on the right track when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Brunson’s availability is in doubt for the Knicks, while LeBron James has already been ruled out for the Lakers.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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