Now that Steve Stoute, Leon Rose and World Wide Wes run the Knicks, you can be sure plenty of players will get the heftiest paycheck imaginable. Hopefully that includes the tallest of Rich Paul’s two newest clients.
The Knicks (15-36) take on the eighth-place Magic (22-29). New York traded their best player to Los Angeles and Orlando’s best player, Jonathan Isaac, is out with a season-ending knee injury. So it will be a contest of the hangers on! Orlando is clinging to that eighth seed and certainly Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic will do everything in their power to drag them into the playoffs. It all starts tonight!
Orlando acquired James Ennis today. He likely will not be with the team, despite only needing to make his way up from Philadelphia. Likewise, Mo Harkless won’t be playing for the Knicks because he’s out there in sunny, southern California. The St. John’s product will probably feel right at home in the Garden when he gets here.
Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson are sick and won't play tonight against the Magic. The Knicks will know RJ Barrett's status closer to gametime. He's been out with a sprained right ankle.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) February 6, 2020
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to have RJ Barrett back, and I am happy to see that the small forward slot could be his for the taking. In all likelihood, Harkless will get a lot of those minutes, but there is the off chance that the Knicks finally commit to their youth movement.
Keys & Predictions
As much as Morris was the team’s best player, his removal might force the Knicks to play better lineups that are more cohesive around Julius Randle. We may see Barrett at the 3 more often and possibly a few more of those two-point-guard lineups that we saw in Cleveland on Monday. That would be huge, because it puts their best defender on the floor more often with some penetration options, other than Randle just turning himself into a battering ram because he doesn’t want to go through multiple half court actions.
Somber Knicks by -10.
Warm Up Music
CAA is back in control of the most profitable franchise in the NBA. This is problematic: