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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Nets- 10/29/18

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Subway series part deux.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the city will shovel itself out of this season’s Warr-easter. Brooklyn will load up their WNYC totes and read some Sol Yurick while listening to the Bill Simmons podcast on 2x speed as they pop over the Hudson to face the Knicks tonight. Last night the Netty pots made a late push to challenge Golden State but couldn’t sneak past them in the end. This came after a crushing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans where the Nets had the game in hand but couldn’t sit on the ball quite long enough.

Hold on, let’s relive that. The Nets had the game in hand. They were up and just needed to hold the ball. So, naturally, D’angelo Russell slipped a no-look pass just beyond Caris LeVert and into the first row. That was quickly followed by a Jrue Holiday pull up from about 15-feet to take the lead with 2-seconds left. Nets call timeout. For no apparent reason, Pelican saint Solomon Hill, trooped right on over to the Nets’ huddle. Ed Davis delicately reached his arm out to thwart Hill’s path and- bless him- Hill went flying! Technical foul, Holiday nails the free throw, Pels up two. Joe Harris can’t inbound past Anthony Davis. Delightfully ballgame.

Meanwhile New York isn’t exactly having much luck either after coming off a mudslide of a beating at the hands of those dreaded Warriors. Their new starting lineup hung tough, but their old starting lineup faded... and faded... and David Fizdale didn’t get back to his neu-starters until the village had been covered. It appears the elders need to lose more than their starting roles, they now need to lose their minutes too.

Sadly the coach is already talking about the possibility of squeezing the recently recovered Emmanuel Mudiay in.

Best passer? No. Mudiay has yet to play this year and despite seemingly playing himself out of the rotation in pre-season it would appear his status wasn’t impinged. No sir, I don’t like it. Be a man, coach, stop this Mudiay brooding. I just don’t like that! I don’t want a coward in the coaching family.


Projected Starters

Key Matchup

It’s the return of Caris LeVert vs Tim Hardaway Jr. Certainly coach Fizdale will not back down from his comments about not backing down. I would assume we’ll see more than a dollop of Hardaway on LeVert tonight. To instill another level of comfort in Tim’s subpar, albeit improved, defense. Effort does count for something and Tim hasn’t been short on that. It’s instinct that will carry you over that hump to become a sufficient defender. Until that time comes, can we please see some Dotson here? I would hate to think the Knicks like to handicap themselves.

Key Reserves

The rotation minutes should come down to what kind of punch can the Knicks get from Enes Kanter, Trey Burke and Lance Thomas. Now that they’ll be seeing bench units, can they get on track quickly? Will Trey be allowed to hijack the offense for another one of his patent pending 6 minutes of Burke-ular breathing?

This is obviously the most egregious example. Nevertheless you have to wonder how the Knicks could have a worse a possession? Keep watching it. Burke greedily sneaks under Allonzo Trier to snag the inbound. He proceeds to shuffle up the floor (as he is wont to do) and calls out the old “I got this” play. Eventually (Lance) everyone flattens out. Trey nearly coughs it up then dribbles over to the side of the floor with six people instead of the side of the floor with two people. He lets everyone go through to the other side of the floor where they get nice and jumbled. So he half way penetrates and jacks an ugly pull up cinder block to beat the shot clock.

On second thought, maybe Mudiay’s passing is just what the doctor ordered.

Prediction

The Nets are coming off a pair of tough losses but they have their rotation figured out for the most part. They lost to the Warriors which is fine and they lost to the Pelicans in a game they should have had. This will probably represent a must-win game for Brooklyn. An inferior team, local bragging rights, the playoff push starts now!

Knicks can’t hit their mid range pull ups. Win by -11.