The victories dried up as securely as the shots stopped falling for the Knicks. Three consecutive losses from incorrect firing undo any early event generated by the previous series of three wins.
RJ Barrett and the Knicks endured another wayward shooting night as off-season Gordon Hayward burned them with 28 of his 34 high-scoring points in the first half of Monday’s 109-88 loss to the Hornets in Charlotte.
The Knicks (5-6) missed nine of their first 10 field attempts and shot just 39.5 percent of the field as a whole. This included showing 5 for 18 – and five consecutive misses from the range of 3 points – by Barrett, who finished with 1
The No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft fired only 36.5% for the season and 18.0% over long distances, connecting in nine of 50 attempts.
“I think he will eventually come,” Thibodeau told Barrett before the match. “I think while he’s doing the right thing, it’s a big part of the NBA game, I think, understanding the value of those shots.
“But there are many other things he does well. We want him to play a versatile game. He can publish the ball, he can control the ball well. And I think over time he will shoot the ball better and better from the perimeter. “
The recent collapse of rookie Immanuel Quickley also continued with one shot every 1 minute for 28 minutes off the bench; he has collected just 10 points in shooting 2 for 24 in his last four games.
Kevin Knox scored 17 of his top 19 points in the first half, while Austin Rivers started in place of Reggie Bullock – the first lineup change in 11 games under Thibodeau – and finished with 13. Julius Randall (2 for 9) scored the most the low for the season 11 points.
Impressive rookie defender LaMelo Ball scored just eight points in a 3-for-13 shot for Charlotte (6-5), but also contributed 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the Hornets’ fourth straight win.
The Knicks came in shooting 39.1% from the floor and 31.3% (6 of 21) from 3 points in their previous two losses after connecting at least 50 percent of their attempts in each match of three wins. .
“I think when you try to shoot sometimes, it takes away from other aspects of the game,” Thibodeau said. “But we were a very selfless team. Some nights the ball will come in, some nights it won’t.
“But we have to do all the other things to put ourselves in a position to win.”
Thibodeau knew his team needed to rediscover their shooting range and play representative defense against the Hornets, who improved with Hayward’s additions, their $ 120 million off-season signing and trading, and Ball, the best number pick. 3 in draft.
Thibodeau spoke of both opposing players, noting to Hayward that the Knicks had rated him quite highly among the goals of free agents in the off-season.
The former Utah and Boston star burned the Knicks by 28 points in the first half with 8 of 12 shots and 10 successful free attempts. Knicks spotted Charlotte the first 10 points of the game and lost 17 points in the first quarter.
Knox kept the Knicks close, scoring five of his eight long-distance attempts, ending the half with 17, for Charlotte’s 57-50 lead in the intermission.
Still, the Knicks made 10 of their 16 turnovers in the first two quarters, and apart from Knox, the rest of the team was 1-for-13 in a 3-point range. Hayward scored just four points in the third, but the Hornets increased their lead to 82-68, entering the final quarter.