A hasty red flag performance by the NY Knicks turned into another home defeat, this time against the Orlando Magic.

NY Knicks vs Orlando Magic 98 – 104

At Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, the humble Magic won their second victory of the season with a score of 104-98, as the audience booed their sleepy and shocking performance. Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker’s new backcourt was again substituted throughout the fourth quarter to watch Orlando’s Franz Wagner on RJ Barrett’s head with 1:45 remaining in the game.

The Orlando knockout came at 30 seconds. Jaylen Suggs intercepted Derrick Rose’s pass and hit Wendell Carter’s air relay. Orlando led 102-96. Fornier did not record playing time in the fourth quarter for four consecutive games. Julius Randall struggled again, looking passive. He didn’t take a shot in the fourth quarter and only scored 13 points.

The season so far

The Knicks (8 wins and 7 losses) had 3 wins and 5 losses in MSG, making 49 three-pointers and only 18 of them. Barrett missed all 7 shots. His worst was a controversial retreat three-pointer with 52 seconds left in the game. This caused a collective moan from the fans. This is already the third game of the season against the terrifying Magic (4-11), and they are deeply immersed in one of those rebuilding/tank jobs that are sure to be at the bottom of the standings. The Knicks defeated them in Orlando. But were shocked at home in October. They entered the game on Wednesday, ostensibly so as not to ignore their opponents.

Dark days ahead?

“The problem is, if you are not a great player, you can’t enter the NBA. So everyone in this league has the ability to beat you,” Tom Thibodeau said. “So we have to come in, we have seen Orlando’s abilities. They have a lot of talent, they play very hard, and we have to be prepared.”

Added Barrett: “They outworked us, they played harder than us and they wanted it. So we definitely owe them. Definitely got to come in and try to outwork them tomorrow night.”

For Knicks players, failure and poor performance can usually be explained by clichés as “energy and effort.” This is a convenient excuse because it is easy to solve, so it is neither a talent issue nor a game-planning issue. “If we work harder, we will win,” became the message. However, more often, it is either a hitting problem or a systemic problem. The Knicks encountered these two problems on Wednesday. Terrence Ross, who came off the bench, led the Magic with 19 points. Barrett scored a team-high 17 points on 7 of 19 shots from the Knicks.

Credits: newsobserver.com; nba.com

Credits featured image: Jean-Baptiste Bellet, Flickr

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