As regular season ends with playoffs approaching, which version of the NY Knicks will show up?

by 24USATVApril 1, 2024, 2:20 p.m. 22
-

NEW YORK – The final seconds of the game were ticking off the clock when Jalen Brunson drove the basket against two Oklahoma City Thunder defenders, made the tough layup and then crashed to the court while the Madison Square Garden crowd erupted in euphoria.

Brunson’s bucket, which came with some uncalled contact by the Thunder, handed the Knicks a one-point lead with 4.1 seconds left. A wild game looked like it would finish in the Knicks’ favor.

Then Thunder MVP-candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made a three-pointer from the left corner on the other end to put OKC back on top with 2.1 seconds left.

The Knicks called timeout. They then had 1.1 seconds left, and got the ball to Brunson, who couldn’t drain the shot as time expired.

What nearly was an inspiring Knicks victory instead turned into a frustrating 113-112 loss, the Knicks’ second in a row.

The Knicks at one point held a 10-point lead. They couldn't hold it.

Brunson finished with 30 points on 11-of-25 shooting (4-of-11 from long distance) while Deuce McBride had 19 points and Isaiah Hartenstein added 17.

A big problem all night for the Knicks?

They missed 11 of them, costly in a one-point loss.

" This game — they’re good," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They’re sitting on top of the West. We’re a basket away from winning the ball game, and so Alexander’s shot goes out, we’re sitting here talking about a whole different narrative. And so, it didn’t, we’ve got to regroup, go down to Miami and we’ve got to get ready for that. And that’s the mindset I want us to have. We’ve got a resilient group, tough-minded. Sometimes you get knocked down. You’ve got to get back up. You’ve got to fight."

So now the Knicks, sitting in the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, turn the page as April begins.

How this team finishes the regular season and how they look in the playoffs is the big question.

"We just got to be focused, got to continue to prepare, and we can't just turn it on once the playoffs start," Brunson said. "So obviously we're in a decent position but we can't get comfortable. That has to be our mindset going forward."

The Knicks have eight games remaining, starting with Tuesday’s contest against the Heat in Miami. Four of those remaining games are against teams with sub.-500 records – three against the Chicago Bulls and one against the Brooklyn Nets.

They also have to play the Bucks and the Celtics on the road.

They also still aren’t fully healthy.

The Knicks were still without OG Anunoby and Julius Randle Sunday, and it’s unclear when either of them will return.

Randle, recovering from a dislocated shoulder, has not yet been cleared for contact in practice.

"I think that’s how we have to approach it, that those guys aren’t coming back and obviously we’ll be pleasantly surprised if they come back," Josh Hart said. "I’m not in those medical conversations or anything like that, so I don’t know shit from shit. But we’ve got to approach it every game and the end of this season that those guys aren’t coming back and if they do be pleasantly surprised."

The Knicks were also without center Mitchell Robinson, who tweaked his left ankle in Friday’s overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs – just his second game back after recovering from surgery on the same ankle.

These Knicks have shown plenty of times this season just how good they can be, how tough and gritty and feisty they can be.

They’ve also had plenty of tough losses to lament.

The regular season is winding down.

Which Knicks team will show up for the games that remain and into the playoffs?

We’re about to find out.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

Toyota Game Recap: R1G2 4/23/2024 | Colorado Avalanche

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 7:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Rangers get 4-3 win over Capitals in Game 2

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 7:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

3 Keys: Avalanche at Jets, Game 2 of Western 1st Round | NHL.com

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 6:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Zibanejad, Trocheck lift Rangers past Capitals in Game 2 win | NHL.com

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 5:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

América y Pachuca, con sus cuadros de lujo en semifinal de ida

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 5:01 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Timberwolves vs. Suns: Live updates from Game 2

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 2 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Will there be a 'Shogun' season 2? Here's what we know

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 2 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Foxtrot, Dom’s Kitchen & Market Closing All Locations

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 1 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Hurricanes notch comeback for the ages in Game 2 against Islanders

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, 1 a.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Red Sea Conflict Brings Massive Carbon Emissions Increases

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, midnight2
HOT TRENDS

FTC Announces Rule Banning Noncompetes

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, midnight2
HOT TRENDS

WNBA star Plum, Giants' Waller file for divorce

by 24USATVApril 24, 2024, midnight2