After evening up the series at one game apiece in Game 2 back at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks have dropped two straight while on the road in South Beach. With Monday’s Game 4 loss, the Miami Heat now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in this best-of-seven semifinal matchup.
Perhaps the most significant catalyst in the Knickerbockers’ latest defeat was their horrid efforts on the glass. Objectively, they should have the upper hand in this area of the game considering they ranked third in rebounds per game throughout the regular season whereas Miami placed as the fourth-worst unit in this department.
However, in Game 4, the roles certainly seemed to be reversed, and, when discussing their putrid performance on the boards during his post-game media session, head coach Tom Thibodeau explained his thoughts on why the Knicks struggled so mightily.
“We gotta get a body on people. They’re shooting long, we’re running in, and the ball’s going over our head,” Tom Thibodeau said regarding the rebounding efforts by the Knicks in Game 4.
In Game 4, Miami outrebounded New York 44-35 and snagged 13 offensive rebounds, seven of which came during the pivotal final period.
Tom Thibodeau Discusses Decision to Start Quentin Grimes
Though the Knicks have been rolling out a starting lineup consisting of Josh Hart at the two guard, in Game 4 Tom Thibodeau opted to transition back to his regular season rotation with Quentin Grimes in the first five.
When asked about the logic that went into his decision to shake up his collection of starters during his post-game media session, New York’s head man noted that he wanted a “different look” on the floor.
“We wanted to open up the floor a little bit more [to] see if that would give us a spark. I liked the lift that it gave us. Of course, we fell short in the end,” Tom Thibodeau said of starting Quentin Grimes.
Despite Thibodeau’s enthusiasm about the shakeup, Quentin Grimes was relatively quiet during his 41 minutes of action, with perhaps his more memorable moment on the floor, unfortunately, being on the receiving end of an astounding rejection by Heat star Jimmy Butler.
The sophomore guard finished the night off with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals while shooting 37.5% from the field and boasted a plus-minus rating of -4.
RJ Barrett Provides Blunt Statement on Knicks Mindset
With the Knicks now down 3-1 and on the brink of elimination, the find themselves heading back to the Big Apple for a do-or-die Game 5.
“Get a win back home. That’s it,” RJ Barrett said on New York’s mentality heading into Game 5.
Though the Knicks ultimately fell short of tying up the series at 2-2 Monday night, RJ Barrett still managed to put forth impressive efforts.
Logging 34 minutes on the night, the fourth-year wing proved to be one of the lone bright spots for New York on the night as he posted 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 56.3% from the field and 60.0% from deep.