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Game Preview: Summer Knicks vs. Summer Suns- 07/07/19

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No earthquakes, plz.

stingy

After an earthquake shortened game on Friday, the Summer Knicks get back down to business tonight against the Summer Suns. Phoenix was set to play the game after New York on Friday, that too was canceled, so this will be their debut.

New York will try to recapture some of their early success where the ball was popping around and the players were moving in synchrony. It was when the team tried to flame their individual matchups that the Pelicans made a run to take control of the game. If not for a touch of natural disaster, it felt like the Knicks were on their way toward storming back.

Kevin Knox II had a pretty good game, scoring efficiently and even making some noise on defense. He’ll look to continue that. Top pick, RJ Barrett, will have to rebound from a dismal shooting performance in his debut.


Projected Starters

New York had a pretty traditional starting lineup in game one. I was hoping for RJ Barrett at the point guard spot but he might struggle too much defensively against the quickness of most lead guards, and Elie Okobo has just the right amount of quickness and trickery to give RJ fits. Maybe that would be good for him, but for now let’s just see what he does on the wing.

The Summer Suns will be playing without their top draft picks Cam Johnson and Ty Jerome even though they are signed. There are other 34-year olds playing for the Suns, so the fact that those two are elderly rookies shouldn’t matter. Now swoon for tiny tables...

Their other pick, 19-years young, Jalen Lecque (Leh-kyoo) will be in attendance, and he cannot shoot. So get mad at the Knicks if they don’t go under on that guy.

Key Matchup

The Suns will probably run a decent amount of pick and roll with Okobo and Ray Spalding so this is Mitchell Robinson’s chance to completely dominate a game and blow up the opposition’s pet play. Spalding is a quick, lanky and athletic big who got to spend some time with Phoenix at the end of the season. He has a nice array of short-mid range flippers and poppers from 8-12 feet and will put pressure on the rim as drivers attract help. Let’s be honest here, folks, run pick and roll at Mitchell to your own peril. He will savage you.

“I mean, I block shots. I blocked shots almost the whole season. So it wasn’t really nothing new. It’s a normal thing,” he said. “….He’s a good player. He can play. I can say that. But it’s a natural thing, I just block shots.”

Don’t be stupid, Summer Suns, just reverse the ball.

Prediction

Firstly, I would like to predict: NO earthquakes!

Ok, while we’re in this head space: please no injuries. It’s simply not worth it. Summer League is a fun exhibition and a good showcase for guys trying to catch on with a team. Beyond that, just show me if you’ve worked on anything.

Now, New York is going to stomp on these fools. Unfinished business against the Pelicans culminating in a loss will only embolden these dogs to get frisky. Former Knick, Billy Garrett, will drop 17 on a careless Allonzo Trier. Robinson goes for 20 and 20 with a +36.

Knicks by 24.

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