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Defend The Mecca

Nick Camment / Freelance (AP)

Current State of the Series

The New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently tied 1-1 in the first round best-of-seven series. The Knicks won Game 1 in Cleveland by four. However, the Knicks looked sloppy in Game 2 losing by 17. The Knicks lost the game by simply being outscored 34-17 in the second quarter. To hear my rant on Game 2 check it out on the most recent episode of Cut The Nets.

Defend the Mecca

The Knicks did what they had to do by stealing a game in Cleveland especially Game 1. However, they have to get that momentum back and win at home. In a perfect world, the Knicks winning both Games 3 and 4 would be huge for them, but winning one is a must. Madison Square Garden is going to be passionate with thousands of loud and dedicated Knicks fans. The energy from the crowd is going to be unmatched and the Knicks need to take advantage.

How Players Are Responding To The Expected Energy

RJ Barrett knows it is going to be loud and even said MSG is the most special place to play and it is going to be fun. Julius Randle also added that the arena is going to be rocking and it will be difficult to talk. On the opposite end, Caris Levert understands that Knicks fans are going to heckle them and they are looking forward to it. Knicks fans need to bring that energy like Demar Derozan’s daughter in order to get in the heads of a young and inexperienced Cavaliers team. It is imperative the Knicks feed off this crowd and defend the mecca.

RJ Barrett Needs to Play Better

To say Barrett has been miserable so far in the playoffs has been an understatement. In the regular season, he averaged 19.5 points per game. However, in the playoffs he is averaging 10.5 points while shooting 24% from the field and an abysmal 12.5% from three. He is not looking a former third overall pick back in 2019 and he is definitely not looking worthy of the $120 million dollar contract extension he received.

Role Players Need to Step Up

One of the main reasons, the Knicks had success in the regular season and are where they are today is the success from their role players and bench unit. However, they have not gotten that this series so far. Guys like Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes who both had good regular seasons have disappeared in the playoffs. Quickley who should have won sixth man of the year, is averaging just 7.5 points per game and is shooting 30.8% from the field and a putrid 16.7% from three. Grimes is another player that needs to step up. As the starting shooting guard, he is averaging just 4.5 points per game.

Game 3 Statement

The Knicks need to go out there and make a statement win tonight at home at 8:30.

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