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Game Preview: Knicks at Nets, 12/26/2019

Constipation is to diarrhea as Knicks are to Nets.

Have you been gifted and drifted away from your family? Maybe find that cold hole in the center of your heart and eat your way into it because the Knicks (7-24) face the Nets (16-13) tonight. New York is coming off the most dispiriting loss of the season after getting hip tossed by the crippled Wizards. Now they’ll face a team of corn balls, outright lunatics and instigation artists. Despite missing their big stars Kevin Durant (see you next year) and Kyrie Irving (has been sidelined more than half the season so far), Spencer Dinwiddie has taken a gigantic leap and almost makes the Irving signing seem like a mistake.

Last time these teams met, Dinwiddie had the counter to every tactic as he rocked, veered, plunged, turned and twisted the Knicks to death. He was even able to squirt some smelly little shots under and around Frank Ntilikina. He has a knack for cracking the defense’s ribs at just the right moment.

He drives you crazy because he’s pretty damn good. Maybe Marcus Morris will smack him around for it tonight. You already know Elfrid Payton and Dennis Smith won’t.

Projected Starters

Taj Gibson is returning and Wayne Ellington is listed as questionable. Reggie Bullock likely remains out, whenever he does play, he’ll just be dipping a toe for a while anyway.

The Knicks actually tried to rest some guys against the Wizards. It came back to bite their entire ass off. Marcus Morris might be listed as questionable but he’ll certainly be looking to get back out there in this “rivalry” game. The Knicks are battling to achieve basic competence. Whereas the Nets are battling against the perception that they are not well liked in the very town where they play. Whatever gives you the friction to propel yourself forward.

For Brooklyn, Kyrie, Caris LeVert and Nicolas Claxton are sidelined. Durant and David Nwaba are out for the season.

Keys & Predictions

If the Knicks don’t force the ball out of Dinwiddie’s hands as much as possible they’ll run into the same problems they did last time. He gets it rolling and then his teammates start defending and cutting harder and he doesn’t make them waste their efforts. Maybe see if Taurean Prince can actually beat you. Your average playoff team would make the same calculation. The road to basic competence definitely starts with knowing how to assess a risk.

New York is going to struggle to find places to make hay, as is always the case. I’ve been advocating that they become rock fight practitioners. Get Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson on the floor together. Everyone kill everyone. Give Randle as many of the backup five minutes as you possibly can.

Richard Jefferson’s ears look like chicharron. If someone bites his fucking ears off he could be a dead ringer for a sea lion.

Knicks by -19.

Warm Up Music

2020 on the horizon with everyone on the trade block. Steve Mills and Scott Perry have locked themselves in their bathrooms.