While the Knicks played with physicality and determination, they were unable to overcome a poor shooting night from the perimeter, dropping just 7 of their 34 three-point attempts on the night.
“I think we’re taking the right ones,” Hart said. “We’re just not making shots right now. That’s the biggest thing. I think we did a hell of a job in terms of playing tough, playing physical. We didn’t make shots, and we still gave ourselves a chance to win late in the fourth. We know that we’re frustrated with that, but that’s something we can change.”
In 43 minutes of playing time, Hart produced 10 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists while shooting 41.7% from the field but going 0-of-4 from deep.
Jalen Brunson Shoulders Blame Following Loss
In an uncharacteristic performance, Jalen Brunson struggled when shooting the ball from the perimeter, missing all seven of his three-point looks, despite finding success from elsewhere on the court.
During his post-game press conference, Brunson gave a blunt assessment of his performance before shouldering the blame for his team’s loss in the opening game of their series against the Heat.
“They finished the third quarter strong,” Brunson said. “Finished the second-quarter strong. There were key moments in the game where you need to finish strong and be strong, and that starts with me. Today I was horrific. Very uncharacteristic of me, and this one is on me. I got to get better”
Brunson wasn’t the only Knick to struggle from deep, as RJ Barrett went 1-of-5, Obi Toppin 4-of-11, Immanuel Quickley 1-of-4, and Quentin Grimes 1-of-3, along with Hart’s poor perimeter shooting night too. However, as the Knicks’ primary offensive option in the absence of Julius Randle, Brunson’s poor performance certainly hurt their chances of ending the game with a victory.
Tom Thibodeau Discusses Knicks Poor Shooting
Following the game, head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke about his team’s poor shooting night, urging his team to take what the defense is giving them and telling them to let it fly when they have the shot.
“The game tells you what to do, so if you’re open you got to let it go. They’re going to collapse and we have to make the right reads. That’s it”
Following this defeat, the Knicks will need to work on their game plan and look at areas in which they can improve their performance against a Miami team that can turn up the defensive intensity at any given moment.
Fortunately for Knicks fans, they won’t have to wait too long for a rematch, as the two teams are scheduled to play the second game of the series on Tuesday, May 2 – a game in which all Knickerbocker fans will be hoping Randle is cleared to play.