Knicks fall to Spurs 111-120 in season opener
The Knicks have went into the new season with a new lineup, in which rookie RJ Barrett ran the point, an experiment that failed from the start but coach David Fizdale quickly realized the error and adjusted his backcourt. New York fell eventually 111-120 but the game was fun to watch for the most part.
After trailing by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, Fizdale threw Elfrid Payton into the battle and that was the moment of the turnaround. Payton, the Knicks’ third option at the PG scored 11 points and dished 8 assists in 26 minutes and with this performance his role seems to be locked.
Dennis Smith Jr., who was supposed to be the starting point guard played just 10 minutes off the bench and couldn’t do much, while Frank Ntilikina was even more disappointing. The french guard played 3 minutes in the third quarter and was quickly pulled off after comiting a personal foul and two crucial turnovers before the final period.
With Payton on the floor, the Knicks emerged from trailing by 15 in the second quarter to take a 7 point lead late in the third. Then they inexplicably cooled their engines allowing the Spurs to go on an 18-0 frenzy from which the Knicks couldn’t recover.
Former Spur, Marcus Morris led New York with 26 points while Julius Randle finished in double-double with 25 buckets and 11 boards to which he added 6 dimes.
Barrett’s debut was extremely promising, the rookie from Duke dropping 21 points while shooting 9-13 from the field.
Kevin Knox looked like a reshaped player and finally shot well. He scored 13 points including 3 threes and went 5-9 from the field. He also grabbed 5 rebounds but collected 5 personal fouls too.
Allonzo Trier, who made the starting line-up, was scoreless in the 7 minutes he played.
The Spurs were led by LaMarcus Aldridge’s 22 points and 8 rebounds performance, followed by Bryn Forbes who nailed 20.
Next up: The Knicks will play in Brooklyn on Friday night.