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Game Preview: Knicks at Thunder- 11/14/18

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‘Stache brothers reunion.

The Knicks head to Oklahoma for this one. Here we have yet another team that is much further along than the Knicks (4-10). The Thunder (8-5) got off to a slow start this year but are finding their stride of late. Paul George is a two-way superstar in his prime. Steven Adams is the prototypical low usage, high efficiency big man (.602 TS%) for a high usage player like Russell Westbrook. Then he helps anchor a top five defense on the other end.

The Thunder are one of the top few defenses in the league. They are second in defensive rating and lead the league in steals per game with a staggering 11.5 a night. If there is a weakness in the defensive chain, it’s their propensity for hacking and whacking. New York struggles to draw fouls, so this could benefit them. Conversely, the Knicks have a knack for committing ticky-tack fouls with lazy reach-ins and feeble flicks. The Thunder will certainly make them pay for their transgressions as the league leader in fouls drawn.


Projected Starters

No Westbrook for the Thunder tonight, but that just means there is no chance for the Knicks. New York, as we know, is dedicated to the trap game.

Key Matchup

Paul George vs Damyean Dotson. In the Knicks’ game against Toronto, D.Dot did a fantastic job guarding Kawhi Leonard and forcing him to shift away from the action by staying in constant motion offensively. George is a little more slithery, to Leonard forcefulness, but both are long and talented scorers and defenders. Sooner or later the scouting report will include Dotson’s exploits and what he does to some of the more star-studded members of the league.

Good luck to you, Damyean, ‘cus the shish kabob can get skewered.

Prediction

The Thunder will muck up the game and slow the pace down to where the Knicks can’t make snap decisions and get any quick buckets. In the third quarter Steven Adams will post up and score on Enes Kanter once. Enes will proceed to try to score on Adams several times in a row and be completely, totally and universally denied by Adams who won’t budge off the block and is quick enough to beat Kanter to the spot, turn and box his ass out. Big Steve is too real for Enes the menace. Eventually Adams will relent and give Kanter one post up bucket. It will look like Adams was caught between banging and pulling the chair.

According to 538 the Knicks have an 8% chance of winning. I’m inclined to agree.

Knicks by -24.

Warm Up Music

Miss you, KP.