Happy Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This is my kind of holiday. No detestable exchange of plastic encased landfill stuffing. Simply a chance to reflect on this experiment we live in. How do you relate to this man, the Civil Rights movement? A shared love of basketball eventually shook us out of our boxes, and we happily swum onto this strange little island of the net. Dr. King reshaped the entire world surrounding this patterned little fifth pocket. Basket small.
The Knicks (11-32) usually play at home on MLK Day. Today they’ll travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavs (12-31). This is their third game of the season, a rubber match. With one more to go in February, the Knicks should take this one as seriously as possible. It’s not so often they get to face a team with an equally tragic penchant for losing.
Both teams coming off of bad trips to Los Angeles and losses where they were one possession away. The fishes are in their barrels. Who’s got a trident?
John Henson and Brandon Knight are day-to-day for Cleveland. Kevin Porter Jr. suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss about a month and a half.
For the Knicks, RJ Barrett remains out with his ankle injury. He’ll be reevaluated within a week and hopefully back shortly after. We already know Frank Ntilikina isn’t allowed to get minutes. This means, in Barrett’s stead, we’ll probably get that Allonzo Trier nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever, so you can chuck fest medicine. Just kidding! The vets will all get 35+ minutes.
Keys & Predictions
The Knicks held up reasonably well against the big Sixers. Perhaps there will be a through line today against a pair of hefty boys, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Cavs are shopping those champions, those titans. If only the Knicks were valiant enough to swing a deal where they got rid of some of these young guys that can’t get on the floor, and maybe a pick or two, for a wonder twin. I got some bad news for you. That would be the difference between the Knicks stinking horrifically and the Knicks stinking horrendously.
In any case, those Cavalier bigs are gonna belly flop into the paint and body whomp the Knicks out of the way all night. As the game goes on, Knick guards and wings will sink further and further into the paint and suddenly Collin Sexton and Darius Garland will start bombing threes. Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle will overtake possessions late and New York will falter.