Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson took most of the blame for the Game 1 home loss to the Heat on Sunday.
“There were key moments in the game where you need to finish strong and be strong, and that starts with me,” Brunson said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “Today I was horrific. Very uncharacteristic of me and this one’s on me. I got to get better.”
Brunson was often the best player on the floor in the Knicks’ first-round drubbing of the Cavaliers. In order for the Knicks to reclaim home-court advantage and emerge from the East semifinals, he may have to do the same against the Heat.
Miami is obviously a tougher and more experienced team than the Cavs when it comes to the playoffs, as Braziller noted. So the Knicks will clearly need to adjust to that.
- No matter, swingman Josh Hart suggested New York remains confident. “None of us are gonna waver. None of us are gonna lose confidence,” Hart said, via Braziller. “Continue to build, be aggressive, take the right shots and hope they go in.”
- It certainly didn’t help that the Knicks were without power forward Julius Randle, their regular-season leading scorer. His status for Game 2 is TBD. “I don’t know how close [he was to playing],” coach Tom Thibodeau said, via Braziller. “I know he worked out before. I just trust him and the medical staff to make that decision. So plan both ways — a plan with him going and a plan if he didn’t go. So, once they make a decision, that’s it. You live with it and you gotta figure it out. We have more than enough.”
- The Knicks must respond swiftly in Game 2, also at Madison Square Garden, wrote Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post.
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