New York Knicks show a lot of promise despite blowing big lead to Cavs

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Enes Kanter (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Enes Kanter (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

In a Monday night marquee matchup against the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks showed the world that they will not be pushed around.

Despite losing 104-101, the New York Knicks gave the Cleveland Cavaliers quite a scare Monday night. Although they couldn’t secure the victory, the Knicks showed a lot a promise.

Double-doubles by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter proved to be not enough against the LeBron James led Cavs. Cleveland has been struggling to find the team chemistry deemed necessary for them to make a push for a fourth consecutive Eastern Conference title and a potential round 4 matchup against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

The first half was dominated by the young Knicks as they were able to stifle the Cavs shooters and force LeBron into uncharacteristic turnovers. Frank Ntilikina was able to accumulate six steals in only eighteen minutes played and the Knicks built up a 23-point lead against the Cavs.

Unfortunately, the lead would not last. The 23-point deficit overcame by Cleveland is the fourth largest comeback win in LeBron’s career and the biggest comeback of the NBA season thus far.

Tim Hardaway Jr., who finished with 28 points and ten rebounds, shot the lights out in the first half and Enes Kanter poured in a solid 20 points along with 16 rebounds. That duo provided a much-needed boost as Kristaps Porzingis had an off night, shooting under 40 percent from the field even though he finished with 20 points.

The Cavs three-point shooting in the second half, most notably in the fourth quarter, proved to be the deciding factor. Sharpshooter Kyle Korver scored 21 points (19 in the fourth quarter) to go along with LeBron James’s near triple-double with 23 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds.

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In a season where not much is expected of this young New York Knicks team, they proved that they will not be pushed around by anyone, not even King James. Despite blowing a big lead, these are the type of games a young team like this needs. This leaves a bad taste in their mouths but pushing the Cavaliers to the brink is a reason to hold their heads high.

Performances like Monday night show that this team will be a tough group to compete against in years to come with more growth and maturity from young core players such as Frank Ntilikina, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Kristaps Porzingis.

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One thing that’s for sure is that this group will be circling their calendars for the next matchup against the Cavaliers (April 9 at MSG) and we’ll be gladly waiting to see another epic battle like Monday night.