Knicks takeaways from Wednesday's 127-120 loss to Heat, including another poor defensive effort

Mar 22, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles the basketball as Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) defends during the second quarter at Miami-Dade Arena.
Mar 22, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles the basketball as Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) defends during the second quarter at Miami-Dade Arena. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks fell to the Heat, 127-120, on Wednesday night.

Here are the takeaways….

- The usual starters of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson began the game and they started fast, getting out to a 10-4 lead in the first two minutes. However, Miami would go on a 16-4 run to take the lead thanks, in large part, to the fast break. Tom Thibodeau was forced to call a timeout with 6:31 remaining. Out of the timeout, the Knicks used their size and ball-hawk skills to go on a 8-0 run and retake the lead. Both teams would trade buckets and the Knicks had a 32-31 lead after the first quarter.

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Both teams shot very well in the opening frame. The Knicks shot 50 percent to Miami’s 63 percent. Randle had seven points and four assists. Brunson led the Knicks with nine points

-The second unit had a bit of a hard time with Miami in the second quarter’s opening minutes. Poor passes and wide-open threes let the Heat take command of the game. Miami’s double-teaming also gave the second unit fits. The starting group helped New York keep up with Miami’s scoring, but the Knicks went into halftime down 64-61.

Both teams shot 48 percent in the second quarter, but Miami was 4-of-8 from downtown to the Knicks’ 4-of-12. Brunson continued to lead the Knicks with 14 points and Barrett turned on the offense to get to double digits to go along with his three rebounds and three assists.

-The Heat came out in the third quarter attacking Brunson. Whether it was Jimmy Butler or someone else, they tried to take advantage of their size and it was effective. But Grimes was aggressive shooting, and making, plenty of threes to keep the Knicks close. The Heat would start to pull away thanks to a combination of poor defense and shooting. The Knicks did not make a field goal for a three-minute stretch in the middle of the quarter. Easy buckets were missed and Randle was even called for an offensive foul on a dunk attempt -- and given a technical for arguing. Despite everything that seemingly went wrong for the Knicks, they were down just 92-86 after three.


Miami shot 55 percent in the quarter as opposed to the Knicks' 42 percent. Grimes got it going and, at this point, had 19 points, and was 5-of-8 from three. Randle continued to struggle as he had just 11 points after three.

- The fourth quarter had both teams trading buckets, but New York went on a run to take their first lead of the half at the nine-minute mark. However, the Heat would regain control and take a nine-point lead, thanks to some timely threes, with 4:35 remaining. The Knicks would attempt a comeback, but they could not stop the Heat. Some aggressive defense and three pointers cut the Heat lead to five with 42 seconds remaining, but they could not pull out the win as they fell, 127-120.

Miami entered Wednesday's game 27th in the NBA in field goal percentage (45.6 percent) and last in scoring (109.0). The Heat would surpass both, shooting 57 percent in the game. It's the second game in a row that a team has shot 57 percent from three against the Knicks.

It was an uncharacteristic game for Immanuel Quickley. In 18 minutes, Quickley scored just five points on 1-of-8 shooting. Coming off his 57-point game on Monday, Randle had just 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting. He did have six rebounds and nine assists.

Barrett led the Knicks with 26 points, while Brunson added 25 points.


What’s next

The Knicks play the second of a back-to-back against the Orlando Magic on Thursday night starting at 7 p.m.