Knicks staying even-keeled despite trailing 2-1 vs. Hawks: 'We're in the playoffs for a reason'

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Trae Young hyped with Reggie Bullock in background Game 3
Trae Young hyped with Reggie Bullock in background Game 3

After the Knicks couldn't come back from a poor second quarter in Friday's Game 3 loss to the Hawks, it's easy for New York to be a bit frustrated.

Especially considering the fact that they were outscored 29-13 and hit just five of their 19 field goals in that quarter - Atlanta knocked 11 of 17.

Emotions are running high in the playoffs, and rightfully so, says Tom Thibodeau.

“This is normal. This is the playoffs. It’s gonna be intense, there’s gonna be ups and downs. You have to navigate through everything," Thibodeau told reporters on Saturday. "Sometimes it’s going your way, sometimes it’s not. Stay together, keep fighting, keep working, do all the things that have gotten us here. But that’s all normal for the playoffs. There’s an intensity to it, and just stay focused on how we can improve and get better.”

Now that the Knicks are in Atlanta, they don't have a home crowd to support them until Game 5 back at the Garden.

And RJ Barrett is hearing it after his struggles early on in this series.

But he's blocking out the noise.

“I don’t hear any of that stuff. Never really cared about any of that stuff, honestly," Barrett said. "I’m confident in my game, confident in the team, been doing it all year. We’re in the playoffs for a reason, so not really worried about that. Just gotta come in and be the harder playing team.”

Taj Gibson said that playing in New York has kept the Knicks from having their emotions out of touch.

“To be honest with you, playing for the Knicks, it really, for this playoff run, it kinda got us mentally ready, because when you play in New York City throughout the year, you get criticized, ridiculed, and that’s why our team is so close-knit," Gibson said. "So we’re ready to bounce back, that’s our mentality, because the city’s always gonna let you know how to play. ...

"At the end of the day, all we care about is what’s going on on the court. … You gotta have a short memory, and just be ready for the next game.”

The Knicks will look to avoid a commanding 3-1 deficit on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Atlanta.