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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Trail Blazers- 11/20/18

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Oh cool, best in the west.

Well hello there, game day friends. Here comes the Brooklyn before Brooklyn was Brooklyn that we call “Portland”. The Trail Blazers (11-5) have won seven of their last ten and are currently in a tie for the best record in the West. Portland is not the type to take an opponent for granted, but that seems mostly relevant when the opponent is .500 or better. So there is hope! Nine out of their eleven wins come against the upper echelon. The Knicks (4-13) will certainly have their hands full even if the Blazers have a couple wobbly quarters.

Maybe the Blazers were out partying and bullshit tweeting and they won’t be sharp enough to open giant scalding fissures in the Knick defense with their passing. The media is ready to ejaculate all over their own laps if Blazers win tonight following their win over the Wizards who are spiraling so out of control they need their toilet plunged.

Don’t let them deny it. I may be upset that Woj blocked me because I wanted to know the election results early but that doesn’t mean I don’t fully expect him to gloat about knowing the Blazers were for real and condemning the Knicks for having a bad owner (which is fair and true and the lowest hanging fruit in the league) in his next podcast if the Blazers put on a show.


Projected Starters

You like cherries? Get in the van, baby- I’m about to pick up some totally random stats and force feed them to you.

Grab hold of your flanks.

Key Matchup

This Damian Lillard fellow is coming off of a 40-point performance in Washington. CJ McCollum was recently named player of the week and dropped a cool 25 on the ‘Zards. These don’t feel like good matchups. So for my part, I’ll be checking in on Al-Farouq Aminu vs Kevin Knox. They might not be paired with one another but Aminu might actually represent a good role for Knox to try to replicate. Knox seems to have that special syrup in his bloodstream that will make him a terrific three-level scorer but he’s a mere sapling at this point. Work to become a stable rebounding presence and a smart, athletic cutter who preserves space to can some triples.

To reiterate, I’m not considering Aminu’s trajectory as an ultimate outcome for Knox, but a plateau he’ll need to reach. Once there he can prepare to put on a show scoring from all over the court. Kevin Knox is almost ten years younger than Aminu, so I’m not worried. Games like this still should become a regular occurrence:

Prediction

Blazers drop a 150-piece. Lillard, McCollum and Evan Turner terrorize the Knicks putrid pick and roll defense as soon as Enes Kanter gets on the floor. Lillard dumps 48 on Emmanuel Mudiay. They connect on 22 three pointers, with 14 coming from the corners.

Knicks by -64

Warm Up Music

While I’d like to shout out my birthday brethren and fellow coffee lover, he doesn’t play for the Blazers anymore. So just get a good (coffee) buzz goin with this puppy.