Ahhhhhh...at long last, a matchup against a team that projects to be out of the playoffs at the end of the season.
Brooklyn sucks. They have little NBA talent and no future to speak of — normally, something we could all understand and pity. Except for the inconvenient truth; the Nets shipped off a cornucopia of first-round picks for the skeletal remains of Boston’s big three.
So now, we have Brooklyn, who is quite bad, giving their draft picks to the Celtics, who are awful, and deserve nothing of the sort. Billy King is the worst.
Anyway, this leaves us with the slightest of win-win situations; if the Knicks win, it’s a much-needed victory with a tough upcoming schedule. If they lose, we’re screwed, but we at least get to screw over Boston in the process. I’ll take what I can get.
The good news is that Jeremy Lin is out with a strained hamstring, so some guy named Whitehead (yes, like a pimple) will presumably be starting in his spot. Brook Lopez is the only player the Knicks really have to worry about, but they’ve also got some shooters that can turn a game around in a hurry. They also sport a new coach, Kenny Atkinson, who has them flying around on both ends of the floor early in the season. They play better than they should, considering their roster on paper.
On the other hand, the Knicks third-stringers already beat Brooklyn’s starters in like, an actual fourth quarter, less than a month ago (shoutout to Ron Baker). Overall, it’s a pretty good matchup, but the Knicks will have to be careful when helping off shooters on the outside. Noah can handle Lopez one-on-one more often than not, as we saw in the preseason, but if Lopez gets going from the midrange...there could be trouble. Keep the shooters relatively contained, and the Knicks have this one in the bag. Look for Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee to destroy their matchups, as Carmelo will draw their best perimeter defender in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
That’s the hope, anyway. Brooklyn has been surprisingly frisky, and we’ve already seen some extremely volatile performances from the Knicks in their first six games.
Prediction: Derrick Rose gets another double-double, Carmelo gets his first 30 point game, Porzingis blocks 4+ shots, and Kyle O’Quinn continues to be one of the worst big men in the league with when it comes to finishing through contact — two missed bunnies in this one.
Knicks win, 112-99.