Perhaps you remember when, last past December’n, the Knicks (10-29) got their goose stuffed by the Heat (27-11). Miami’s length, energy, and synergy just had the answer for everything on both ends. Whether it was the extra pass or a defensive rotation, they were always connected and electric. It was the first game where Mike Miller seemed a little blown back. The quick time outs were lightning fast and he burned a bunch awfully early. Kendrick Nunn showed why he was Rookie of the Month.
Today Miami comes to town to pump into that goose once again.
The injury list is growing for New York with seven guys in the medical tent. They even put Ivan Rabb on the list, when what they should do is waive Rabb and sign Kenny Wooten! Marcus Morris is still questionable with a sore neck. Frank Ntilikina is probably but that pesky groin is once again bothering him. If the kid is only gonna play fifteen minutes anyway, I say just throw him out there. And to whoever is dropping it on him so hard, please go easy. The Knicks are expecting Julius Randle back and that should help them hammer away at some of those dull moments when the team isn’t quite sure how to score. After a funky finger jam, Reggie Bullock is probable with a contused thigh. You tell me.
The bad guys? Only guy they’re missing is Justise Winslow who has been out with a back injury for a long time!
Keys & Predictions
Today is the perfect chance for Mike Miller to show that he isn’t a rigid rotation coach. If someone is playing well, give them some extra spin. If someone doesn’t have it or does something worthless, oh say... a Bobby Portis right handed baby hook? Yank the motherfucker and give some young firecracker a chance at proving their self. I do love keeping Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson together, but does the substitution need to happen like their on timers every game?
Perhaps this is a mandate from on high. Scott Perry and Steve Mills forcing Elfrid Payton on Miller. Elfrid isn’t all bad, he seems to be the only guy Julius Randle will give the ball up to. So there’s value in Payton even if only to keep defenses from ignoring everyone but Randle.
Sadly today they’ll play out that same string and the Heat will get Ntilikina and Robinson in foul trouble quickly anyway. So even if Miller wanted to give them 25-30 minutes, which I fear he does not, he won’t be able to. Anyway, please turn Nunn and send him to his weak hand, he can still pull up driving right, but seems less likely to turn the corner and get to the rim. It might help. Bam Adebayo with a 40 point triple double.
Knicks by -16.
Warm Up Music
Come on now. You know what it’s like to be a Knicks fan.