New York Knicks at Los Angeles Clippers
March 20, 2017
Clippers 114, Knicks 105
by Eric Weinstein
If you stayed up for this mess, well done.
The New York Knicks hit the road for a four game Western Conference swing that began in Hollywood last night, as the Knicks traveled to LA to take on the Clippers. It’s been anything but great for both of these teams over the past few weeks, as both teams have been struggling mightily. Only difference is, the Clips are still the fourth seed in the Western Conference, led by the big four of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and JJ Redick. The Knicks? Not really in the playoff picture these days. It was more of the same from New York, which is keeping the deficit manageable for a little while, only to have their lack of defensive effort be their undoing. Don’t let the score fool you, the Knicks were nowhere near that close to winning this game.
Kristaps Porzingis returned from injury last night, and led the Knicks with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Some of the looks on KP’s face show just how badly this season has worn him down, much like most of the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony, who is just about ready to waive his no trade clause this summer, (and can you blame him?) went for 16 points on 6-14 shooting in what was another lackluster effort from him. The best thing this man can do is get out of here as fast as he can, and it shouldn’t matter to him where he ends up, as long as it’s not New York. Derrick Rose also scored 18 points.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 30 points, DeAndre Jordan went for 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Chris Paul dished out 13 assists to go along with his 13 points. The Clippers are on a different level than the Knicks, much like the rest of the teams New York will see on this road trip.
You could tell this one was over in middle of the third quarter, which is when I stopped watching. The game wasn’t too far out of reach at halftime, and then in the blink of an eye, New York was down 23. LA outscored the Knicks 34-19 in that third quarter and completely dominated them on both ends. Third quarters of doom have been a theme for this team for as long as I can remember, and it was the Achilles heel of the Knicks out in LA. The big four didn’t even play in the fourth quarter, which is a big part as to why New York was able to close the gap so much.
One thing to look forward to is that if you’re a tank enthusiast, this is the perfect road trip for you. The Knicks travel to Utah, Portland, and San Antonio over the next week, all of which are in the playoff picture, or in Portland’s case, very much alive in the race for the eighth seed. These teams all have playoff position to play for, and are going to give the Knicks their best shot every game. One can assume that the Knicks will win at least one game on this road trip, but other than that, it’s looking like the Knicks will either improve, or stay put in their lottery positioning.
The Knicks travel to Utah to play the Jazz on Wednesday, and if you choose to stay up for that one, it wouldn’t be the worst idea. Utah is an excellent basketball team. Led by Gordon Hayward, this team plays tough defense and moves the ball on offense. The Knicks already lost their first meeting to the Jazz way back in November, and I’m expecting more of the same on Wednesday. 12 games to go. 27-43.