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Preseason Game Preview: Knicks vs Cavs, 12/18/2020

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Final dress rehearsal.

Cavaliers v Knicks Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

After Wednesday’s win, the Knicks close out their preseason with one more game against Cleveland. The group that cut the deficit and closed the game out was all 22-years old or younger, spearheaded by the exuberant play of Immanuel Quickley. Seems promising even though it was against the Cavaliers’ C-squad.

Julius Randle spinning into trouble only takes you so far. Dennis Smith Jr. taking advantage of Matt Mooney is great. The giant deficits they generate are not ideal however. Showing effort is great but these guys need to learn how to play smarter not harder.

The starters will probably be largely the same barring injury.

Elfrid Payton / Alec Burks / RJ Barrett / Julius Randle / Nerlens Noel

Its probably safe to safe to assume this is your starting lineup heading into opening night as well. No one has clearly played themselves out of the role and RJ Barrett has in fact looked more competent than he did last year, to the point where if his current play sticks, he may currently be the best player on the team.

We still have yet to get a look at Austin Rivers and he should be able to get the Knicks a couple more catch and shoot chances, either with his drive and kick game or by exhibiting just a little patience dotting the arc when someone else drives. Certainly James Harden is good for teaching guys not to cut in front of him on his way to the cup.

The Cavs still haven’t sent their full arsenal out for a game in preseason, maybe tonight’s the night! Likewise for the Knicks, maybe we’ll get a look at a more ebullient bunch with Dennis Smith not playing any minutes while Immanuel Quickley and Frank Ntilikina run the bench brigade smoothly.

No matter what happens, last pre season game of the year, expect to see some weird lineups and names you’re not totally familiar with. For the Knicks that might mean we finally get to see Iggy Brazdeikis, Myles Powell, Louis King and Omari Spellman get some extended burn.

If you’re looking for something to do from now until then, I’m sure the NBA would appreciate you giving them your money. The city gear is out and you can now get some absolutely cheesy slides.