Quick note on this reignited silliness about the Knicks not making a play for Kawhi Leonard in free agency. It was well known around the league that the Clippers were sending personnel to Raptor games constantly. They went to some extreme lengths, they did some mild tampering and theoretically some non-tampering just to keep extremely detailed tabs on Señor Kawhi. What is disregarded for the first time in history is that the Knicks were the worst team in basketball and not the type of team that had primed the pump for a superstar. Kawhi just guided a good team to the Larry O’B and he wanted to continue playing for more Larry O’B’s right away in Los Angeles.
Now that I am officially incensed! Time for some longer notes. Immediately after free agency opened, the Knicks were spurned by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I thank my lucky stars for that every single day because who wants to root for a cupcake and a cornflake, respectively? Rather than wait to see if Leonard would take pity on the Knicks and sign with them later in the bonanza, they moved on to sign players who were looking to strike it rich and make a bigger name for themselves.
The rube that Steve Mills is, he was odd and foolish enough to try to make it seem like the Knicks are a desirable franchise to play for. He ended up saying the Knicks were looking at signing some “max-type players”. This diarrhea of the mouth is just simply Mills’ brand of mistake. He has had trouble learning from it because he isn’t a great interviewee. His mouth fits nicely around his foot. Probably just a matter of time before they interlock again.
Incensed I tell you! Now the reporters club has decided to narrate this back into the forefront of the conversation. It’s old news if it ever was news. So when Kawhi answered a non pertinent question by giving a very direct answer it really doesn’t need to be given a grander context for shit to be slung. The Knicks are finally getting to track some positive results, they’re in a difficult stretch and somebondy just had to put a distraction in the air.
Anyway, the road keeps on tripping for New York as they hit up Los Angeles for a double dip. Today the Knicks (10-25) will face the Clippers (25-12) in an early game and that’s pretty much the only thing that’s actually happening.
Doc on if he has a sense of the team's identity at this point in the season: "No -- and that's a concern."— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) January 4, 2020
We thought Frank Ntilikina was gonna get all those succulent starting point guard minutes but Elfrid Payton made his way to the game in Phoenix on the heels of the birth of a brand new baby girl! Big Elf had a pretty energetic game but then caught some mom-brain in the fourth quarter as his and Bobby Portis’ egregious blunders popped the game out of it’s socket. It would seem he is questionable again for today’s tilt so that he can spend a little more time with the neophyte. He is considered questionable. Dennis Smith Jr. remains out with a tweaked oblique, aka DNP-Agent. Other than that the Knicks are a healthy bunch!
The Clippers are the NBA’s primary destination for all your load management needs this year. Patrick Beverly has a little wrist biscuit but he may play. Yesterday Paul George got the day off. Will Kawhi rest his achey legs today?
Keys & Predictions
The Clippers just got booed yesterday by their home crowd after a rather ‘lol, Knicksian’ effort against the Grizzlies. That led to Montrezl Harrell slapping down some hard truths.
Montrezl Harrell on feeling the embarrassment, hearing fans boo - “I am. Us as a team that should wake you up. Losing by 20+ points on your home floor, getting embarrassed, and booed by your home fans, that should wake anybody up.”#Clippers pic.twitter.com/LCSigUFIyi— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) January 4, 2020
This sense of certainty, urgency, and confidence does not bode well for New York. Let’s just go ahead and anticipate a bounce-back game for the Clips. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are in a different stratosphere than the anyone in orange and blue. It’s a lot to overcome. Be that as dismay, this is an interesting little quizlet for the big applers.
Knicks by -26.
Warm Up Music
Speaks for itself and all the furious spirits swirling around it.