You would think that after a team picks up a win, let alone a huge moral victory that had a lot of background noise to it, they'd figure a way to keep that momentum going in your next game, right? Well, the Knicks just did the opposite of that Saturday night against the Hornets.
The Knicks, who were coming off their third win of the season and the second one over Kristaps Porzingis and the possible playoff-bound Mavericks, seemed to pick up right where they left off, holding multiple double-digit leads from the first quarter and on till the middle of the third.
But then the team imploded and watched their 13-point lead midway through the third turn into a one-point deficit with 30 seconds left in the quarter. The two sides would go back and forth down the stretch, but a three-point dagger from Most Improved Player of the Year candidate, Devonte Graham, with 2.1 seconds left all but sealed the game.
"Frank [Ntilikina] was all over the kid [Graham]" coach David Fizdale said after the game. "The kid just hit a tough shot. Frank's our best defender and he got a contested shot and the kid just hit a bomb."
Julius Randle attempted a last second shot, but missed the long-jumper.
"We was just trying to get Julius the ball at the...near the elbow area and maybe put pressure on the rim and draw a foul or get a layup," Fizdale said.
So again, here we are. For the third time in a row, the Knicks follow up a big win with a head-thumping loss.
Though one might be blinded by the final result, Fizdale did see some progress in his team--specifically on defense.
"That's the positive," Fizdale said on his team's defense. "Obviously, I don't want to get any moral victories out of this stuff but we're definitely getting better on the defensive end. We've just got to keep that consistency going, where we are doing it night in, night out."
Despite how things have gone so far this season, Fizdale said he had "no concern at all" in his team getting down and called them a "resilient group."