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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Celtics, 10/26/2019

Perfect game to start Ntilikina.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks are right back at it tonight after letting a slippery sheepshead fish squeeze through their fingers last night. New York has a league-leading 15 back-to-back scenarios this year. Tied with Charlotte, Sacramento and Washington. The number of back-to-backs are still way down league-wide, but the anti-NY bias is clearly still up! You can see it there in the middle of the night feebly plotting how to fix a rocket to a giant roller skate. That damned bias! Let’s take a look at it.

Oh yea, the Celtics played last night too. A win over the defending champ Raptors at home. Now they’ll face their toughest opponent yet: a pack of wild dogs.

Despite no more Al Horford and no stupid Kyrie Irving, Boston remains one of the more competitive teams in the East this season. Yet the window feels like it slammed closed on them so fast that the house just collapsed to the ground in a heap before the window even had a chance to know what was going on. This impossible window remains fixed in the air. Somehow! Over the rubble. A few key players hold up tiny protest signs. A knowing wave goodbye through the pane. Their fateful, woe is me, Wile E. Coyote faces dropping a moment after the window finally realizes whats gone on and gives in to the complete lack of support. The scene will fade to black and they’ll be drafting up a new scheme soon enough. But for now, Joel Embiid is popping his tongue and blurting out “meep meep” like a carefree, flightless bird.

Projected Starters

Wouldn’t be totally surprised to see Wayne Ellington or Allonzo Trier in the starting lineup in place of Elfrid Payton, with RJ Barrett moving to the point guard slot. RJ played reasonably solid defense on Cryrie in the closing minutes last night. Obviously that didn’t work out but I think I know why.

That means we gotta get some dogs out there to dog it up. Marcus Morris faces his old team. That probably means he’ll try to take over at a bunch of inopportune moments cus he’s a dog. Unfortunately, no goofy ass Enes Kanter for the Celtics tonight, too scared to face the feared Julius Randle. We can probably assume that David Fizdale will keep obvious cat, Frank Ntilikina, in the dog house rather than play him against obvious mouse, Kemba Walker.

Key Matchups and Predictions

This game will be full of rangy wing players. Jays, Brown and Tatum, will look to continue their matching success from last night.

Meanwhile Kemba Walker will appeal to the basketball gods for just a few minutes matched up against Dennis Smith Jr., where certainly he’ll get a nice rhythm going on offense, and he can take possessions off on defense.

This being the home opener, I’d expect some shaky play from the Knicks, trying too hard to make a good first impression. Not enough shooting and disinterest on the defensive end (RJ not included) will be their undoing, despite having hung pretty close to teams that I was told were supposed to just summarily clown this group of all power forwards.

Knicks by -13.

Warm Up Music

Imagine Fizdale started Frank on Kemba. I’d be hype!

Ok, now a more realistic spin for my favorite Knick.