Knicks playoff chase hampered by Garden struggles

The Knicks’ residence is getting The World’s Most Infamous Arena.

Madison Sq. Backyard garden, the most prestigious location in the NBA, has remodeled into the Knicks’ household of horrors. Their latest house defeat, an time beyond regulation decline Monday to the Raptors, dropped them to 11-12 at the Garden this season.

Of the 20 groups in position getting into Tuesday for the NBA participate in-in tournament or postseason, the Knicks ended up the lone club that was under .500 at household.

“It’s aggravating. Obviously we want to earn at residence,” Jalen Brunson stated right after his 26 points had been wasted Monday. “We have one particular of the very best fan bases in the earth, but this is clearly a historic spot to engage in, so everybody’s coming right here with their most effective foot ahead.”

Such has been the normal clarification: Opposing teams do not need to have a second cup of espresso to get up for video games in the Backyard. Stars don’t want to sit when New York is looking at. The exact rationale was expressed last year, when the Knicks went 17-24 at the Garden and missed the postseason.

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle reacts along side New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (L) and New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson
There are a great deal of explanations the Knicks have difficulties winning at Madison Square Backyard garden.
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

But final period was a dropped time all all over. The 2022-23 Knicks have been excellent on the street, in which they are 14-8, and they can battle for dwelling-court docket advantage in the initially round. Due to the fact the 1976-77 merger, only seven teams have competent for the postseason with a getting rid of mark at property, like the 2021-22 Nets, who have been the seventh seed and likely demand an asterisk mainly because Kyrie Irving was barred from actively playing at Barclays Heart for most of the year.

When the Knicks host the Wizards on Wednesday, they commence the game as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference and flirting with a bizarre historical anomaly. No group considering the fact that the NBA-ABA merger has experienced a shedding report at dwelling and concluded in the leading six in its conference.

“I consider for us, we just bought to focus on the minimal things,” Brunson reported ahead of addressing the troubles as a full. “A good deal of these losses occur with one particular or two possessions, marginal losses. We have to be 1 p.c, 2 per cent greater.”

He’s right. The Knicks have outscored their opponents at household by an regular margin of 115.5-112.5. The rims have been friendlier at the Garden, where by they’re shooting 40.3 per cent as opposed to 39.4 p.c on the highway, but the excess bucket or two has not been the variance in more than enough video games.

Eleven of the Knicks’ game titles at the Yard have been decided by seven or less details. The Knicks have dropped eight of individuals games.

Bundled are crushing losses to the Bucks, Bulls, Hawks and Trail Blazers in video games in which the Knicks held massive or late sales opportunities. Coming into Tuesday, the Knicks have been the third-worst workforce in the NBA in the next halves of household games, obtaining been outscored by 72 factors. Only the pitiful Rockets and Spurs, with a combined 23 wins, have been even worse on their possess household courts in the third and fourth quarters.

Shut video games carry on going the completely wrong way, which likely has motivated mentor Tom Thibodeau’s rotations. On Monday, Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, on the back again close of a back again-to-back again, performed a put together 134 minutes. Thibodeau’s further reliance on his ideal players did not swing the video game, and the coach appeared suspicious the officiating might have.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts in the second half
Tom Thibodeau is continue to striving to figure out the right rotation to aid the Knicks at dwelling.
Jason Szenes for the New York Article

“It was tough to convey to what a foul was,” Thibodeau reported just after the Raptors took 41 free of charge throws, six more than the Knicks.

When even the officiating is not heading your way, the house cooking has gone stale.

Following the Knicks experience off with the under-typical Wizards, there will not be numerous possibilities to fatten up their dwelling history. Of the ensuing 10 video games at the Backyard, only 1 will be versus a staff that entered Tuesday exterior of the playoffs: LeBron James’ Lakers. The Cavaliers, Heat, Clippers, 76ers, Jazz, Nets (2 times), Pelicans and Celtics will not be intimidated when they enter the locale so a lot of simply call “the mecca.”

“I’m worried about every little thing, so I seem at every thing,” Thibodeau said past month, when questioned if he was involved about his team’s struggles at dwelling.

There is lots to search at.