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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Nets- 01/25/19

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Nah, I’m good.

Ok, we have to care about the Nets again. Start caring. Now stop. Start again...OK, stop. Brooklyn (26-23) has won five in a row and eight of their last ten. That’s good stuff! They’ve been cruising with D’Angelo Russell leading the way and maybe finally starting to get comfortable with the NBA game.

New York (10-36) is trending quite the other way. Perhaps your local Nets fan has done everything they can to try to shout that in your ear. Losers of seven straight and only one of their previous ten, the Knicks are growing weary of the long season. Little spats of infighting have been made to appear bigger than they probably are in the case of Allonzo Trier and Tim Hardaway Jr. The just-let-me-play shenanigans of Enes Kanter are likely more toxic but even those might not make as big of a wave as presented. David Fizdale doesn’t seem too worried about it. Nonetheless this team is suffering.

New York is 1-2 in their series with Nets this season. This is their final meeting of the year and they could really use a win. Not because it’s the Nets but because it’s a team they’ve beaten. With Trier starting to find his stride again, certainly the Knicks will play with a sense of urgency.


Projected Starters

Well, I guess Enes Kanter doesn’t start in place of Luke Kornet? Maybe he does though. Who knows. This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you’s.

In fairness to Kanter, he has actually had a good measure of success against the thinner Jarret Allen. Enes just bulls Allen until he’s dug in underneath the rim and then can just flip it up over either shoulder. So maybe we’ll get some Enes time.

As for Brooklyn, one of the major weapons in their arsenal, Spencer Dinwiddie, may miss the game with torn ligaments in his right thumb. That’s his shooting hand. So while Dinwiddie may play through- if he needs surgery it would behoove the Nets to handle that sooner than later if they intend to have him when it really matters in the playoffs.

Aside from Dinwiddie, lots more injury woes for Brooklyn. Including possibly their best player, Caris LeVert.

Dinwiddie did play and pumped in 29 points in their last match against Orlando. So don’t be shocked to see him out there.

Key Matchup

Don’t get in the ring with Frank Ntilikina. I don’t care who you are. You want it Spencer? He’ll heat up the ball on D’Angelo Russell real fast. Be careful. In case you aren’t following- the key matchup is Ntilikina against whoever the fuck.

This video came from an excellent bit by the most excellent Knicks Film School.

So, yea I guess the dude got 61, but he’s been averaging nearly 50 a game for a while. So that doesn’t really seem so crazy in the larger context. You got a James Harden on your team, Brooklyn? No you don’t. You have alfalfa sprouts in your beard.

And if you need to start the debate on Ntilikina, my two cents: It’s been a year and a half, and he’s been growing almost two inches a year. Let him finish growing and then we can set the clock to a year and a half from that point before you draw your ill-begotten conclusions then.

Ntilikina came into the league listed as 6’5”. Here he is next to James Harden, also listed as 6’5”.

The heights at the crowns of their heads isn’t so noticeably different but it certainly is different. But my goodness look at the shoulder heights! So just let Frank be done growing, and then let him figure out his body. He’ll still be a youngster, maybe a senior in college if he took that path.

This photo was taken right before Harden gave Ntilikina a purple nurple. Frank will be proactively assessed one foul for tonight’s game because of the contact.

Prediction

The Nets and their maestro of perfectly reasonable decision making, Sean Marks, have so much depth that the Knicks barely stand a chance. If Shabazz Napier has anything to say about it, this should be a long night for New York.

Knicks by -31.

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