Miami – The Knicks see themselves as a tough group.
Group is at its best when facing adversity.
Able to dig in when everything is working against them and prove their critics wrong.
Monday night, they have to prove it.
They get to show it.
They can erase the ugly memory of Saturday afternoon’s 19-point loss and even this series.
Game 4 is as close to a must-win as you can get.
“The bottom line is we all have to play a lot better,” coach Tom Thibodeau said on Sunday.
This is a clear.
This is a clear.
Game 3 was the Knicks’ worst performance of the postseason—and one of their worst efforts this season.
They scored 86 points – a season low.
They lost the rebound fight for the first time in the series.
They were crushed in the paint and only made 8 of 40 3-point attempts.
Most disturbingly, they were overworked, and frequently beaten on loose balls.
“Usually the most aggressive team wins,” said Julius Randel. “they [had] More of an exit-loss advantage, so hopefully we’ll exit that way [on Monday]. “
Follow The Post’s coverage of the Knicks vs. Heat NBA series
They better, or they’ll be staring at Elimination Wednesday in the park.
The Knicks desperately need to know their offensive issues.
The numbers through three games aren’t pretty: an offensive rating of 105.3 points per 100 possessions and 99.3 points per game, both worse than any of the eight remaining teams in the postseason.
The Knicks shoot 27.2 percent from 3-point range this round, better than just the Suns, and 41.2 percent overall.
They make 56.9 percent of their attempts from 5-foot-and-in, down from the regular season mark of 63.1.
Their assists of 19.3 were also down from their average of 22.3 during the year.
“Their defense is very good,” Thibodeau said of the Heat. “There will be two, three guys around you, and then you have to read the game and trust the pass.”
After losing Game 3, Josh Hart said the Knicks had to play faster, and on Sunday RJ Barrett, Randle and Thibodeau agreed.
“It is very important. [Play with] Quickly, get some easy combos and even in half of the court [with] “More quickly, make their defense work harder,” Barrett said. “It will be very important to us.”
Obviously this is easier said than done.
The Knicks aren’t forcing the Heat to turn him around much — Miami averages just nine turnovers per game in the series — which limits Knicks’ transfer opportunities.
They only have 27 fast break points over three games.
Nothing was easy for them, and finding a way to win on Monday night certainly wasn’t going to be the case.
They may not have super-substitute Emmanuel Kwekley sprinting forward while dealing with a sprained left ankle, weakening the Knicks’ troublesome second unit.
Quickley is listed as questionable.
Everything points to the direction of Hit now.
They were the better team.
In Jimmy Butler, they have the MVP.
But one victory will change everything.
The Knicks came to Miami needing one win to maintain home court advantage.
They can still get it.
“I think we are confident. It’s just, ‘We have to run,’ Randall said. “Go out with a certain level of aggression and physical fitness and find a way to win the game. It will not be easy.”