The Houston Rockets (26-20) are in the middle of the freaky Western Conference playoff race and can’t take any games off. After a staggeringly slow start to the season, and as injuries pile up, the Knicks (10-35) should expect the Rockets to come out trying to torch them.
The Knicks of course will provide no answer to James Harden (because there isn’t one) and will play a foolishly big lineup against the quick and meaty little Rockets. Hopefully though, the Knicks can just give endless waves of energy from top to bottom in their rotation and outlast Houston and their phenomenally short rotation.
Enes Kanter gets the start tonight with Luke Kornet on the sidelines and the trade deadline up ahead. He must be foisted!
The Rockets are all banged up and just signed Kenneth Faried, who will appear with Houston for his second game tonight. Judging by how he played more minutes than Nene and Marquese Chriss combined in his first game, I’d guess Mike D’Antoni just goes ahead with Faried in the starting unit. Why delay the inevitable?
The Knicks should start Frank Ntilikina.
Hi. Corey Brewer ain’t walking through that door! The prevailing logic around the league, of late, has been: anyone but James Harden. That has shown some measure of success, with the Rockets a pedestrain 5-5 in their last ten games. Harden of course is averaging 43.7 points per game over that stretch. So there is only so much stopping him that has gone on.
I say let Frank Ntilikina get as much as can handle. He’s had some success in the past.
After that give Damyean Dotson a few rips. I would also love to see Noah Vonleh embrace the challenge on some switches and dig in. If he can keep his footing, Harden can’t simply power through Vonleh.
Enes Kanter, aka Mr. Motorcycle Helmet, will assuredly be assigned to PJ Tucker at some point and float in from the best corner three shooter in the game to contest James Harden at the rim. Only problem is that he’ll be out of arm’s reach of both Harden and Tucker. Guarding absolutely no one. I can feel it in my bones.
I know what you’re thinking, “Motorcycle? More like ‘Slow-torcycle, am I right about this factual statement?!” Yes, yes I suppose you are.
Knicks by -11.
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