Studs and Duds: Knicks have lost three in a row following loss to the Miami Heat

NBA: New York Knicks at Miami Heat
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

As the “marquee matchup of the night” got underway, the New York Knicks visited a rival Miami Heat. An aggressive and tenacious Miami Heat defense from the opening tip compared to a more timid and unorthodox offense from the New York Knicks.

Donte DiVincenzo and Terry Rozier led all scoring for their respective teams in a matchup that went down to the wire. A terrific 12-0 run in the fourth fueled the New York Knicks in a strong comeback, but ultimately, the Miami Heat pulled away with a 109-99 victory. 

Miles McBride has been on Fire

Averaging 19 points per game over the last six matchups, Miles McBride has been on fire at a time when the Knicks need consistent offense. McBride stepping up and answering the call makes him one of Coach Thibodeau’s favorites. The skill set, tenacity, and poise of McBride have garnered him ample playing time as he is in close competition with Josh Hart for most games with 40+ minutes played this season.

Following nine made threes against Toronto, defenses have chosen to put a man on McBride, but that was no problem against Miami. McBride scored 24 points with four made threes in an astonishing 44 minutes played. The off night from Jalen Brunson allowed McBride to be a strong catalyst in keeping the Knicks in the game.

A nine-point third quarter on 100% from the field from McBride, and in the fourth, a 12-0 run with a huge fast break three by Miles made it a four-point game with five minutes to play. Miles McBride is one of the reasons a healthy Knicks team has been in conversation to knock off the Boston Celtics.

The defense and ingenuity of McBride off the dribble will make him a matchup nightmare to the point opposing teams will go from game-planning Brunson to picking their poison between him and McBride.

Donte DiVincenzo can’t miss 

DiVincenzo has reached a level of ‘green light’ that most shooters could only dream of. Over the last six games, Donte DiVincenzo is averaging 25 points per game.

This includes 36 made threes, more than Stephen Curry by 11. Donte isn’t the first option, but defenses have been more locked in, and it doesn’t matter. If there is room to get a shot off, Donte is taking it while fans expect them all to drop because he’s been so lethal from beyond the arc this season.

DiVincenzo ranks third in total makes, only behind Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry. Elite names to be in company with, DiVincenzo is shaping up to be the best contract in the NBA with the season he’s had. 4 years for 46 million is a tremendous bargain for Donte, and he has become one of the most popular professional athletes in New York City.

Against Miami, Donte kept the Knicks in the fight with 31 points and six made threes. Tough nights for Brunson usually mean Donte is on a heater, and he will not stop shooting. 

This is A welcome sign of ambiguity in the rotation, as on any given night, the Knicks have 3-4 players that can go for 30 points, and DiVincenzo is one of them. 

Road Warrior Bogdanovic 

There has been a constant discourse surrounding the performances of Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic. Both men joining a stunning rotation of predominantly defensive-minded players when they are past their best defensive days is an adjustment.

Both men are journeymen spark plugs that are luxuries to be on any bench at this stage in their careers. Against the Heat, Bojan scored 16 points on 6/10 from the field. This is following a brilliant 18-point night on the road and a big fourth quarter on the road against Sacramento.

Consistency for Bogdanovic is the issue, but it is not always the easiest when one goes from a Pistons team with no depth knowing how many shots one would get to a contending Knicks team with depth at every position. The playoffs will surprise many fans as that’s where Bogdanovic’s poise and ‘never rattled’ nature will come in handy. 


Jalen Brunson off night 

A 20-point and ten assists night sounds brilliant, but on 5/18 shooting and five turnovers, this was an off night for Jalen Brunson.

Giving credit where it’s due, the Heat defense was suffocating Brunson by flooding the paint and taking away his spots on the floor. His cerebral approach was all the Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s game planned for. Allowing the rest of New York to get their shots, some contested, but the job was to keep Brunson away from his spots on the floor.

There were even moments of Heat players attempting to get in Brunson’s head and draw a charge, something Brunson knows how to do very well. Distorted shot attempts and seemingly careless turnovers, even Brunson’s poise was not the same, but the unwavering ingenuity of JB spells bad news for De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings. Their last matchup saw Brunson score 42 points to Fox’s 20 on 5/19 shooting. A box office marquee matchup is in store on TNT Thursday Night. 


The Knicks have now lost three straight games.

This final stretch of games before the playoffs is where New York kicks it into a higher gear, but still no sign of OG Anunoby and Julius Randle. Josh Hart said that the mindset of expecting their return is an old relic at this stage, and preparing the current rotation for a playoff push is the only option.

The art of attrition is real, and the Knicks are currently in a bind as over-exerting the rotation is a must to stay prominent in the conference standings, but once the Knicks cross the regular season finish line, will they have the ability to sustain a playoff intensity?

Looking ahead, only three of New York’s final seven opponents have above a .500 record. Taking care of business and locking up a top-four seed should be a priority, as they are now sitting fifth in the East and only three games back from the second seed. A great week of hoops ahead can alter the future of the Knicks and their potential playoff success. 

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