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Knicks star Julius Randle pinpoints what went wrong in disappointing loss vs. Cavs

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After a back-and-forth affair in the first two quarters, the New York Knicks pulled off a disappearing act in the second half of their matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the Knicks’ fourth loss in ten games to start the season.

Following the contest, All-Star forward Julius Randle couldn’t help but rue over his team’s lack of effort, per Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“In critical moments, we’re not getting stops consistently and we’re giving teams confidence early. We got to be better. I think it’s our energy, fight and will. I’ve said this from the first day: We’ll be fine if we play defense. Offensively we have enough talent.’’

The Cavs outscored the Knicks, 70-52, in the second half behind career performances from Ricky Rubio and Evan Mobley. The opportunity was standing right in front of Randle and the crew. Cleveland was already missing the services of three rotation players, which was compounded by Collin Sexton skipping the entire second half due to a knee injury.

While the Knicks dominated the Cavs in the blocks department, the latter still outrebounded the former, 48-32. The visitors’ ball movement was crisp, leading to a total of 31 assists against New York’s 21.

The Knicks need some soul-searching. After finishing the 2020-21 campaign with the NBA’s fourth-best defensive rating, they now wallow at the 27th spot overall. This is far from the identity that Tom Thibodeau-coached teams have paraded in the past.

The Knicks get a chance to right the ship, but it’s going to be tougher compared to Sunday, as they visit the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.