The New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks got into a heated argument at halftime of their matchup on Wednesday night. Both teams were still playing hard, with the score tied in regulation before tensions boiled over.
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Getty On Thursday, Evan Fournier, left, and Knicks big man Taj Gibson watched as Gibson was dismissed.
For a while, it seemed as though the Knicks’ season was coming to an end against the Bulls on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. In the first half, Chicago led by as many as 21 points, and New York was becoming irritated—with the officials, with the Bulls, with themselves.
Cameras recorded Knicks player Julius Randle and shooting guard Evan Fournier bickering about a play as they walked into the locker room at halftime. There were no brawls, but the conversation was clearly passionate and not altogether pleasant.
“They’re having a disagreement,” SNY broadcaster Mike Breen stated. Throughout the first two quarters, you could feel the exasperation.”
Tim Bontemps of ESPN described the exchange as a “conversation.” He posted on Twitter, “Julius Randle and Evan Fournier have a dispute as they walk off the floor.” “There seemed to be some type of confusion on the last possession.” “A decent synopsis of a dismal first half for the Knicks, who trail 69-51 following a strong showing by the Bulls.”
“Julius Randle and Evan Fournier bickering with one other about a play as they exit the floor for halftime,” wrote New York Daily News journalist Stefan Bondy on Twitter.
As they leave the field at halftime, Julius Randle and Evan Fournier squabble about a play.
December 3, 2021 — Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN)
Make your own decision:
In the first quarter, Taj Gibson was ejected.
“The key problem is communication,” Randle said, admitting he and Fournier were irritated. “I can’t let things linger in and be frustrated.” I need to speak with my colleagues.”
“I can’t be frustrated by allowing things to remain within. I need to speak with my colleagues.”
At halftime today, Julius Randle discussed what occurred with Evan Fournier pic.twitter.com/WyGyTaDgHh
December 3, 2021 — Knicks Videos (@sny knicks)
Whatever occurred when the Knicks entered the locker room, they emerged as a different squad. The Bulls’ large advantage had been down to one point in less than seven minutes of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks took the lead, but the Bulls recovered and held on to win the game.
Perhaps the Knicks can claim a moral win, particularly Randle, who had a fantastic second half and ended with 30 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists. But it doesn’t erase the fact that the blue-and-orange had a very tense and emotional game.
The Knicks were already without centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims when big man Taj Gibson was dismissed at 4:14 in the first quarter. Gibson was enraged when he was called for his second foul and was given a technical foul for his outburst. Gibson fought for a few more seconds before being flagged for a technical, resulting in an early departure.
“That’s simply terrible officiating,” added Breen, who isn’t known for becoming impassioned when describing the officials. “That’s overreacting to a player’s response.” Taj Gibson does not deserve to be tossed out there.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau remarked merely, “Yeah, it’s sad,” regarding the expulsion after the game.
The New York Knicks’ Schedule Has Been Lightened
The good news (maybe) for the Knicks is that the schedule lightens up following back-to-back games against the Eastern Conference’s top two teams. The Knicks suffered a tough two-point setback to the Nets on Tuesday before losing four points against the Bulls on Thursday. However, none of their next four opponents have winning records, and they are a combined 17 games below.500.
Even though the Knicks have only lost two games since benching point guard Kemba Walker and running big sections of the offense via Randle, the squad has shown signs of improvement.
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