It has solely value them twice, however the Knicks have made a behavior of squandering huge leads early within the season.
They’ve blown double-digit leads in every of their two losses — together with a 15-point benefit that disappeared in Monday’s loss to the Raptors — and it’s been a difficulty in a few of their wins.
“I feel at occasions, we simply get somewhat bit complacent,” Kemba Walker mentioned Tuesday. “We’ve gotten huge leads and we simply sort of cough them up. We acquired to be higher. Myself, I acquired to be higher controlling the crew, simply ensuring the tempo is staying the identical. We’ve to be higher in our huddles, we acquired to speak about it extra and perceive what’s been hurting us and determine what’s been occurring throughout these huge leads. We acquired to repair it.”
Apart from the problem arising of their two losses, the Knicks gave up an 11-point fourth-quarter lead in opposition to the Celtics earlier than prevailing in double additional time on opening night time. Then final week in opposition to the Bulls, they led by 13 with 2:59 left earlier than surviving a one-point win.
“Leads disappear … simply due to the best way groups are taking pictures 3s,” coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned. “You can also make up floor shortly. You let your guard down and also you quit three 3s in transition in a minute, that’s 10 factors. It will possibly go shortly. So no lead is secure.”
The Knicks’ backup heart state of affairs remained up within the air as they launched into a two-game street journey.
Taj Gibson, who left Monday’s loss with a sprained ankle, and Nerlens Noel, who has but to play this season due to a knee difficulty, are each questionable for Wednesday’s sport in opposition to the Pacers, Thibodeau mentioned.
Whereas Gibson practiced Tuesday, Noel didn’t due to private causes, Thibodeau mentioned, although each have been set to journey with the crew.
Their questionable statuses left the depth chart behind Mitchell Robinson unsettled.
When Robinson went to the bench within the third quarter Monday, with Gibson already out, Thibodeau first tried a small lineup with Obi Toppin and Julius Randle manning the frontcourt. The Knicks have been outscored 14-5 throughout that stretch.
“I favored the pace of it, however the rebounding was problematic for us,” Thibodeau mentioned of the Toppin-Randle lineup.
Rookie Jericho Sims was then pressured into motion for 5 minutes early within the fourth quarter earlier than Robinson returned.
The Pacers may have their beginning backcourt intact for the primary time this season Wednesday. Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) practiced Tuesday and informed reporters he anticipated to return to motion in opposition to the Knicks. Ex-Web Caris LeVert additionally just lately returned after a again difficulty value him the primary six video games of the season.