The Pacers (27-14) are coming off a Celtic-whomping. They should be sharking for a bounce back win against the lowly Knicks (10-31). Indiana will have to do it without starting center Myles Turner. Thankfully the Knicks haven’t been able to slow down his backup, Domantas Sabonis, for even a split second this season.
In the absence of Turner the Pacers’ defense has taken a little tumble, as outlined really wonderfully here by Indy Cornrows’ Caitlin Cooper. So the Knicks ought to try and run on them and be the actual pace setters tonight. Turn the corner and hit switches, looking at you, Emmanuel Mudiay!
The depth chart will slide Knick fan-favorite, Kyle O’Quinn up to first big off the bench. Something tells me he’ll absorb every ounce of Enes Kanter’s bully ball then sneak some back door missiles past Kanter’s outstretched belly. Of course Kanter may not play because he over-ate on his cheat day and had the splats.
Good things are good and Frank Ntilikina is healthy and ready to return to the lineup after a funky little ankle sprain. Not only that he’s decided to elevate his game to championship caliber starting point guard. Since that’s the case the Knicks have called up Zion Williamson from Duke of the unpaid internship league. Finally, Kristaps Porzingis will return to the lineup tonight. The Knicks plan on mashing through their remaining schedule. Should be vicious and cruel. Finishing no worse than sixth is a rule.
Back to life...
#Knicks say Enes Kanter is questionable for tomorrow. Frank Ntilikina is doubtful. Mitchell Robinson is out.— Chris Iseman (@ChrisIseman) January 10, 2019
Yea. So. Shit. Tonight’s drinking game: chug ipecac for the entire possession if Trey Burke and Allonzo Trier both call for the ball after a defensive rebound.
The Knicks have been so summarily slashed by Sabonis that they’ll probably send more help and lose track of tip of the arrow, Victor Oladipo. How do they grind down Oladipo’s headlong sprints to the goal? Tim Hardaway Jr. has been slowing down more and more as the season has gone on. A combination of effects: road weariness, focal point fatigue, opponents catching up with their game planning and plantar fasciitis have all reared their ugly heads like an echidna penis.
Good luck, Timbo.
New York comes alive and gets a wire to wire win. But! After review a three pointer by Emmnuel Mudiay in the final two minutes is ruled a two. It looks like the zebras got it wrong. David Fizdale loses his mind and gets a technical. Oladipo converts the tech and makes a three immediately out of the inbound play. The Knicks, still up by two, get confused about who to give the ball to. They try to call a 1-4 isolation but Mudiay hesitates to pass it to Trey Burke and turns it over. Bojan Bogdanovic trails the play and catches a dump off pass for a layup in the closing seconds, Mudiay commits the foul.
Knicks by -1.