The Knicks (19-42) have been coming to this jernt for a long, long time. They usually just show up, go in whatever door they damn well please, order to go, and try to blend into the wood paneling before they take off without getting noticed. Now Leon Rose is ordering for them and they’re up at the counter asking about punch cards and what do you recommend?
Should be a fun jaunt tonight against a Utah Jazz (38-22) team that is in the midst of a mini-identity crisis. Mike Conley has been struggling to solidify his hold on the point guard spot and it has pushed Joe Ingles to a sixth man role. Luckily for the Jazz, the Knicks are probably still starting Elfrid Payton despite not needing his contributions to lose games at a rate that rivals Mitchell Robinson’s field goal percentage.
The Knicks won their last game, so I expect them to think that was a fluke. They hate changing things and too much success for Frank Ntilikina is probably sending panicked shockwaves through the organization. That’s especially so with Dennis Smith Jr. is still in the concussion protocol. How can they bury Frank under the bench, if there’s no room!?
Also there’s a few Knicks with some questionable situations. If you remember Knox went down late in Monday’s game grabbing his leg though he got back up as soon as it looked like he might stay down.
Reggie Bullock (illness) is probable for tomorrow, Knicks say. Kevin Knox (contused left leg) and Mitchell Robinson (sore left hamstring) are questionable.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 3, 2020
The Jazz meanwhile are in pretty good shape, missing just Nigel Williams-Goss. That probably just bumps Emmanuel Mudiay up the bench closer to Quin Snyder by a half a butt cheek. Hey man, you smell, doody cakes. Do you see how I’m right there?
Keys & Predictions
The key to this game is of course starting and finishing with Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson on the floor, while relying on RJ Barrett to be your creative force in the crunch. Let Mo Harkless set the example for Julius Randle to follow. Be a little more of a Swiss Army Knife and little less of a machete that’s been hacked to death opening cans of beans for three hours a night 61 games in a row.
Be that as it may, we’ll get a good look at Julius bully balling Royce O’Neale or Bojan Bogdanovic only to careen into Rudy Gobert as a Knick wing cuts across the paint to be bring a third defender onto Randle who will spin directly into that guy. The ball will be stripped, the Jazz will be in a hurry going the other direction, and the so-called Frank stans will be left to elucidate just how powerfully he locked up Jordan Clarkson as if that means nothing these days.
Knicks by -13.
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