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Game Preview: Knicks vs Bulls, 10/28/2019

Positive energy to Dennis Smith and his family.

It’s been a rugged start to the season for New York. They’ve managed to stick with some more talented and soundly built teams, despite getting blown out by the Celtics late in the game on Saturday. David Fizdale has been looking completely flummoxed and is starting to draw some criticism from around the league.

Dennis Smith Jr. won’t be with the team, instead dealing with his stepmother’s unexpected death. That coming on the heels of deep struggles on the court. At one point even having the MSG crowd boo his counterproductive efforts while chanting for Frank Ntilikina. It’s been hard to watch Smith get torched on defense and Fizdale and the hero ballers haven’t really got him in any good positions. The one through line here is that Dennis can’t control these personal and professional things. He’ll just have to take the cards that are dealt and play as best he can.

All that said, there’s now a rather minuscule eight or nine minutes available. I wonder who will get them and be pulled right before they figure out what the ball feels like. Frank Ntilikina got literally one defensive possession in the first half in their last game and that was more than enough for Fiz. I’d guess we’ll see a little bit of Wayne Ellington. Point Ellington has been hard to watch but he’s killed, so he’ll keep.

Projected Starters

I’m sure we’ll see more of the same from David Fizdale’s Knicks starting group. Even though it feels like it’s time to curb your dogs, coach. Call me crazy, but let’s get a look at some Julius Randle at the five because he might really struggle trying to check this slippery Fin.

Key Matchups & Prediction

These two teams are likely going to miss the playoffs. Chicago might have a chance if they start clicking. Nevertheless we’re looking at a pair of teams working to find a stride that they can hit.

Some of the brighter spots have been each team’s top pick in this year’s draft. If Zion Williamson misses too much time, the Rookie of the Year award looks awfully up for grabs. RJ Barrett has been better than advertised. Unless you don’t skip the advertisements, weirdo. While Coby White has continued to make progress after hitting switches and shooting up draft boards over the last few months of the NCAA season.

White is primarily known for his pace pushing and quick trigger. If he can pull some trickery out of his bag, and maybe slap some gumption down on the defensive side, he’s a compelling candidate. Too bad he plays for the Bulls, sworn enemy.

Anyhow. Long way to go for that silly stuff. Can’t just sit here and discount Ja Morant and I think we’re all expecting Admiral Schofield to pull it together soon (yea, nah).

Knicks by 9.

Warm Up Music

Dadvid Fizdad