just a few days ago, Julius Randel He laughed to himself in front of a group of reporters. shook his head.
He said, “Oh, my God.” “It’s time to win one of those kinds of games.”
the New York Knicks had just survived a late semi-comeback win Toronto Raptorswho trailed 16 with just over three minutes to join regulation but dropped within two minutes before New York closed 112-108 win. Finally, the Knicks had stared the basketball gods in leather faces and fended off potential disaster.
The ending was exciting, but the win was a win. And that particular win meant the Knicks had two streaks, winning four in a row. After all, a blown lead isn’t a battered lead if a team never blows a lead, no matter how close the opponent is.
“We made free throws at the end and took them down the stretch,” Randle said, before turning over the hole line. “They didn’t hit every silly shot.”
“Ridiculous” is one way of expressing it. Sure as the Knicks build a lead, whoever they play in some way turns into 1996 Chicago Bulls. Various actors have played the role of MJ.
Luka Donjic? silly.
DeMar DeRozan? silly.
Jeremy Grant? Also silly.
Now, add a little irony to the fold: Monday night, in the post-win game in Toronto, the Knicks hit 17 home runs against the team. Milwaukee Bucks But the deal couldn’t be done. The Bucks blazed from a 3-point home run and rallied again in the second half to get going New York winning streak with a 111-107 victory.
It’s the seventh time this season that the Knicks have gone up by double digits in a game but lost. Some of the defeats were particularly heartbreaking – like giving up a nine-point advantage with a half-minute to go to Dallas or when a 23-point lead over Atlanta Hawks evaporated.
The Knicks can’t hold onto a lead. But there is a larger context to this: the rest of the NBA.
thanks for the the athleteNBA analytics expert Seth Partnow, who compiled league-wide stats on prospects for this story, now we know the Knicks are one of seven teams that have given up at least seven double-digit advantages in losses this season. Fourteen teams have blown six leads at least double digits in losses; 21 had torpedoed at least five. Each team has converted at least three double-digit leads into losses—except Memphis Grizzlieswho didn’t blow anyone up somehow.
the Portland Trail Blazers They pulled off a 14-point comeback against the Knicks, but also exploded a double-digit advantage in the game nine Losses this season, the most in the NBA. The Falcons silenced Madison Square Garden as they walked out after their 23-point comeback, but they suffered the other side of this as well, returning double-digit leads in eight their defeats this season. Dončić broke hearts with his intentionally missed free throw that turned into a game-tying float, but… you can probably guess where this is going; the Mavericks Give away double-digit leads eight of their losses.
The truth is, this (unless you’re in Memphis) happens all the time now.
The popularization of Pointer 3 changed the game. Take three straight, steady looks out of the corner, and you’re back at it. If one or two players get a hot hand, as some Bucks did on Monday Night, the dynamic flips. Hardships like what the Knicks suffered against Milwaukee happen almost every night in the NBA these days. A losing team has had a double-digit lead in 26 percent of the games played around the league this season.
And now, as Randle was, Coach Tom Thibodeau is laughing, too.
“I kind of get a chuckle because you guys — there’s no safe lead in this league. Over the weekend…a 20-point lead with three minutes (remaining), you’re not safe,” said Thibodeau. “With the three, the way it’s run With the game, the thing is you can quickly make up ground.”
On Monday, it was a team effort from Milwaukee.
Jrue holidayAnd Brook Lopez And Grayson Allen Hit each pair of 3s in the fourth quarter. The feast seemed unstoppable draining the steps along the stretch. Joe Engels sank two by three. The Knicks frustrated the Bucks for most of the game, tumbling wildly from the perimeter to the paint. When faced with MVP twice like Giannis AntikonmoYou have to give up something and hope it doesn’t bite you back. The Knicks chose the three-ball. It didn’t hurt them until it happened.
The Knicks have their late-game kinks to work out. They are far from the Grizzlies, who cling to the strings with their fists.
They missed crucial free throws. Crime has become stagnant. Sometimes, they collapse conclusively, like in the last 30 seconds in Dallas or when Atlanta turned a 23-point deficit into a double-digit advantage in just one quarter.
Their lack of 3-point shooting means they can’t match a team like Milwaukee when it gets hot. The contrast behind the arc of the two was hard to ignore. Both teams allowed the other to let 3s fly, but the Bucks made 19 of 49 attempts and the Knicks only made 11 of 41 attempts.
New York can score, but the offense is systemic. It was not created to go into one-on-one depths.
But this trend is not as extreme as it seems. All of those bouncy strands may seem unusual right now, but the Knicks aren’t alone.
Seth Partnow contributed to this story.
(Photo by Julius Randle: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)