The New York Knicks saw their winning streak come to an end with a bang as the Denver Nuggets dominated them on Wednesday evening. Losing by 16 points, Denver had the lead for the entire contest, thanks to Nikola Jokic posting 32 points, showcasing his MVP caliber season. In fact, Jokic was pulled in the fourth quarter for rest purposes, as Denver sent out their 2nd team to finish off a struggling Knicks squad.
This was an anomaly for New York, who experienced their last loss against the Phoenix Suns, who they will go to battle with on Friday evening.
This defeat was a wake-up call for Tom Thibodeau and his team, who have steamrolled worse squads over the past few weeks, but this blowout loss represents a tremendous challenge internally.
To be considered one of the best teams in the NBA, you must be able to accept defeat and come back with a fresh slate the next day. The Knicks must do whatever it takes to forget about this game, putting it in the past and moving forward with positivity. Phoenix is no joke, as they are also considered title contenders this year, but the Knicks have what it takes to compete and even win games against quality teams, as weâ€™ve seen in the past.
However, when we look back at this loss to Denver, we see struggles in most categories, Denver did a fantastic job suffocating Julius Randle when he drove to the basket, finishing with just 14 points and turn the ball over five times. The Knicks turned the ball over 15 times in total, which is simply far too many against competitive teams that will take advantage.
It wasnâ€™t a surprise to see Barrett struggling along with Randle, as both seem to work off one another. Barrett went 0-for08 before hitting a few three-point shots to raise his average. Altogether, the team was flat, and only Immanuel Quickley showed any sense of life, posting 18 points, with the majority coming in garbage time.
This West Coast trip will prove to be their most difficult challenge of the season, but internally, they must remain confident and motivated for the final stretch of the regular campaign. They must finish strong and head into the postseason with a full head of steam.