The New York Knicks have one major weakness and it was exposed against Toronto

New York Knicks, Julius Randle
Dec 31, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) defends during the second half at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are battling significant injuries, and it resulted in an unfortunate loss to the Toronto Raptors on New Year’s Eve. Toronto entered the contest winless, losing their first three, but limited the Knicks to just 83 points on the night.

New York has looked like a revitalized team under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, but with their injuries, the depth is undoubtedly dwindling. Rookies Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin are still fighting their way back from hip pointer and calf injuries. Quickley is expected to make a return sooner than Toppin, who could be out as much as two weeks.

“When you miss that type of time, with that type of injury, there’s going to be a period of time for him to get back to speed in terms of playing,’’ Thibodeau said a few days ago. “And so obviously with a calf, you can’t run or jump, so the conditioning component will factor into that.’’

The New York Knicks struggled against Toronto for one major reason:

The game plan against Toronto did not work well, as the Knicks simply can’t get into three points shooting contests with other teams. They don’t have the shooters and healthy wings to get the job done in that category, and ultimately hurt their chances of victory.

The Raptors activated an all-out barrage from beyond the arc, hitting on 17-of-52 total attempts. That is a 32.7% success rate, while the Knicks made just 3-of-36 tries, finishing at 8.3%.

The Knicks don’t have the talent in terms of long-range shooters to consistently get guys open and knock down shots. In fact, their starting five didn’t hit a single attempt from three, with Reggie Bullock going 0-for-9 and RJ Barrett 0-for-8. Kevin Knox was the only player to connect more than once, hitting two shots on eight attempts.

The Knicks are a far better team when driving to the basket and utilizing their size in the paint. However, it was nice to get Austin Rivers back, who played 21 minutes in his Knicks debut. Nonetheless, Julius Randle had another double-double, recording 16 points and 10 rebounds. Coming off the loss, the Knicks are preparing to face off against the Indiana Pacers, who they lost to in the opener 121-107. This will be a tough contest, but I believe the Knicks have grown in the past four games, seeing their defense improve, and hopefully, they will be a little bit healthier on Saturday night.