The Knicks (11-30) seek revenge against the Suns (16-24) tonight a few avenues west of Madison Square. It was earlier this month that New York fell into a tail spin of losses that kicked off in Phoenix. If you don’t remember, Devin Booker tied a franchise record with his fifth consecutive 30-point game that cold night in January.
Dios mio, hijos mios. In that game in Phoenix, the Knicks also chose to let Kelly Oubre Jr. throw muchas llamas. He popped off for 29 of his own.
The Knicks seem poised to flop right back into their losing ways if they don’t get this one tonight. There are some gettable games out there on the muddy slopes of NBA mountain, but they’ll be closing January with tough ones against the 76ers, Lakers and Raptors. Plus Brooklyn will cross the East River riding Citi Bikes against traffic to make an appearance over the top of Penn Station. Those dorks have Kyrie Irving back and this is probably his championship game judging by the way things are looking for the Nets this season. Anyway, the Knicks better come out swinging when they can reach their opponent.
Mike Miller has a pretty solid track record of splitting games against repeat teams. He’s gotten revenge wins against Portland, Denver, Washington and Miami. Only the Bucks have beaten him twice.
Ricky Rubio is expected back after missing the Suns’ previous game for the birth of his child. I say attack his effervescence and take advantage of any residual mom brain he may have picked up in this breath of life whirlwind. In their match in Phoenix, Elfrid Payton rushed to the game after the birth of his baby. If there is symmetry in this world, please show it here today, HaShem, and I will praise everything that which I cannot fathom.
The Suns will be missing Kelly Oubre, who is in the concussion protocol after getting whacked in the cranial by John Collins on Tuesday.
Here’s the shot on the head Oubre took in the first quarter that was ruled a flagrant foul. pic.twitter.com/3AaMvQO1Rr— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) January 15, 2020
Meanwhile the fucking Knicks can’t soothe Frank Ntilikina’s groin, he is listed as questionable. Likewise for Marcus Morris and his funky neck. Mitchell Robinson and Reggie Bullock are probable. Dennis Smith Jr, todavía está fuera.
Keys & Matchups
The Knicks need to wear out Ricky Rubio. Get his ass running and turn him as often as possible. When Payton played in Phoenix, at first he was spry and connected. Then it got to nut crunching time and Elfrid just fizzled out. He was floating ill fated passes to no one and launched at least one dead-legged three off of some awkward momentum. If they can drop Rubio off the back, maybe they’ll find some easy opportunities for themselves.
Once you have the Suns fatigued a little bit, go to Julius Randle to battering ram their interior defenders. If the Knicks have the sense of pride that was advertised coming into the season, it would be nice for them to show it here. A little home cooking and RJ Barrett wearing a headband might be all it takes.
Knicks by 8.
Warm Up Music
The Knicks were on a little hot streak before that crappy Westerly trip. Obviously the tough times kicked off with a loss to this very Suns team. Flashback to now, and they can right some wrongs on their home floor.