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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Thunder, 3/6/2020

Steamin’ that Thunder Pifflin.

Ok I think we’re boomin’ ahead these days. The Knicks (19-43) still lose the games, the fans shout about selling the team, they get expelled, we got an improbable scandal with a super fan, a front office shake up and Frank Isola is mud sliding into DM’s. The clocks are all broken and where we’re going we don’t need inroads. I think we can all officially turn to the college game and make some reads on the next crop of young Knicks to get buried under the bench. As above, so below.

Tonight we’ll be treated to a good, fizzy jolt from the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-24). Friday night is still a schedule loss and Robert Randolph is still the reason why. Maybe tonight will be the night that Elfrid Payton’s empty calories make a difference.

Projected Starters

Running it back with the same group that started the last few. Still no Dennis Smith Jr. (concussion) for the Knicks, while Kevin Knox (leg) is probable and Mitchell Robinson remains questionable (behavior; hamstring acting up).

The Thunder are coming to the game in nearly full health with the long standing exception of Andre Roberson who has been all messed up since rupturing his patella tendon in January of 2018. At the beginning of March 2020 there was an update that he was being limited to individual workouts, with no team activity. He’ll turn 29 at the end of this calendar year and he was so close to reaching his peak powers. Cutting off angles and turning the ball handler, then sticking them in a ditch and reaching in to pull out that bright orange gem stone. Roberson could pull a heist, man. I hope we haven’t seen the end of Andre, but I fear the worst. Maybe he’ll reemerge a lights out shooter.

Syracuse legend, Darius Bazley (right knee bone bruise), is also out.

I wouldn’t want to play for this meat-nose either.

Keys & Matchups

One matchup I’m not psyched about is RJ Barrett against fellow rookie and Canadian, Luguentz Dort. Big Ro tends to attack your lead foot then uses his size and strength to pin you with his hip and just tug boat his way to the rim. That won’t be so easy against the eager and hulking, yet light on his feet, Dort. Especially so when you consider the Knicks never really crack anyone with a screen. Sometimes Taj Gibson might lay one down, Mitchell Robinson has started to brace for the oncoming collision, everybody else is usually just slipping out of the way. Bobby Portis is a better screener than Julius Randle. But anyway, Dort will just speed through those open door picks and if you do actually put a gauntlet in front of him he’ll blast a Luguentz-shaped hole through your body.

A second matchup I’m not psyched about is Steven Adams versus anyone who dares enter the paint. Look. This big petrified motherfucker don’t budge. In fact, let’s just watch him set screens and imagine whether Dort could get through them or not. Then imagine what the ball handlers on the team could do with effective screens.

Oh! A third matchup I am entirely un-psyched about is Chris Paul laying waste to Elfrid Payton. That’s gonna suck. With any luck, some early foul trouble will get Frank Ntilikina in off the bench, and Paul’s flopping and flailing will be “too much” for the zebras and Frank will be allowed to play physical.

Julius looking sideways at Danilo Gallinari and just leaving him open from three is going to get tiresome.

Knicks by -22.

Warm Up Music

This sound aight tho.