The Knicks gear up to take on the Eastern Conference power, Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are a friendly reminder that some paint cloggers can still field a team that gets up triples. While they didn’t shoot a ton, they were top ten in percentage last year. Even though Ben Simmons just doesn’t shoot them and Joel Embiid just doesn’t really make them, connecting on just over one a game. Where Joel really wants to be is the foul line and generally that starts by getting a little closer in.
As will be the case with most opponents this year, the young Knicks could learn a lot from the superior group. They may have one unexpected advantage though!
RJ Barrett says having no fans at MSG may be an advantage for NYK because opposing players always come to the Garden looking to have big games in front of the crowd. I think he’s right. Other coaches/players have said over the years that opponents always want to play well at MSG— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 26, 2020
We should probably expect more of the same from New York with Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock manning the backcourt to start. Julius Randle has been seeking out Bullock the way JR Smith feverishly sought Steve Novak. I find it hard to imagine Tom Thibodeau separating those two. Randle- with a focus on distributing- is a very different player and it could open up so much for a painfully stagnant offense.
Elfrid Payton v. Ben Simmons
Reggie Bullock v. Seth Curry
RJ Barrett v. Danny Green
Julius Randle v. Tobias Harris
Mitchell Robinson v. Joel Embiid
The starters may have been due for an adjustment after Payton showed again that he offers a veritable nothingness that is undeniably void to the point guard position. He gets the ball up the floor slower than Julius, who for all his faults, never plays offense without urgency.
Knicks say Immanuel Quickley (sore left hip) and Obi Toppin (sore right calf) are doubtful for the home opener tomorrow against PHI. Austin Rivers (sore groin) and Omari Spellman (sore right knee) are out.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) December 25, 2020
Keys & Predictions
With no Immanuel Quickley and a rough defensive team to go up against, I think we’re in for a horrible Kevin Knox game. The Sixers will bully him and he’ll fall into a deep depression that will last several months, but basketball will be over by then, and everyone will be almost tired of making fun of the Knicks, right?
Knicks by -36, cus I’m in a bad mood.
Warm Up Music
My basement flooded. The oil burner crapped out. I will have to pay for this somehow. Can’t wait for a $600 stimulus check. I should have known not to eat an avocado toast that one time.