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Game Preview: Knicks vs Raptors 2/9/19

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Crap turds.

Have you heard? There is a caravan of cretaceous creepozoids, headed for New York City. The Knicks (10-44) have lost fifteen straight games, which is somehow a mere one game behind the Raptors number of losses for the whole season at 40-16. Now would be a good time to hold on to your butts.

Toronto might be debuting their big name trade deadline acquisition, Marc Gasol. Their depth chart will be shaken around but they should still be able to regularly throttle opponents. This game might actually prove it’s importance by being the closest thing to a full practice squad as the Raptors might get for a while. With the All Star break right around the corner, and then just 26 more games before it’s the playoffs.

There are at least 3.2 million reasons to believe Gasol will play nice with the Raptors.


Projected Starters

Raptors head coach, Nick Nurse, has done a good job of getting everyone to buy in to the program in Toronto, and while Marc Gasol has been notoriously ornery with coaches over the past few seasons, I’d suspect he has enough wit to let these very successful Raptors keep on rolling. Gasol will get in where he fits in and for now he’ll probably terrorize second units. It’s still up in the air whether Gasol will indeed play today. Regardless there are lots of things that need to be addressed for this team.

Key Matchup

Noah Vonleh was roughed up in back to back games by the nimble trickiness of Blake Griffin. Ultimately getting benched after a mere 3 minutes last night.

He hasn’t been quite right since the Dennis Smith Jr. trade. Struggling to find his way around the new formation. To make Vonleh-matters worse, Smith is probably relying on DeAndre Jordan’s pick and roll familiarity over Noah’s quick, pivoting dribble hand off stylings. I don’t think this is Vonleh losing his spot, though.

So, now it will be interesting to see if he can corral the nonstop electricity of Pascal Siakam. I’m a big fan of Vonleh’s, and he’s had a great season, even if it goes off the rails as we head toward the final stretch. If he wants to earn big dollars in the off season, showing that he can contain the toughest matchups in the league will be intrinsic to his value. He has done a wonderful job on Giannis Antetokounmpo multiple times. Maybe Griffin is just one of those guys that has Noah’s number.

No matter the case, the Knicks will have to figure out some way to neuter some of Siakam’s highly contagious energy. Go forth and kill!

Prediction

The Raptors will instantaneously eviscerate the Knicks and perch on top of their carcass for the remaining 42 minutes. The one saving grace will be when Serge Ibaka takes several seconds to square his feet, load up, aim it and shoot an 18-footer only to have Mitchell Robinson obliterate that foolish nonsense. You’re a basket case for that one, Serge!

Knicks by -905.

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