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Game Preview: Knicks @ Cavs, 1/15/2021

Enough already! With the freaking Cavs, my goodness.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

I think this is the ninth time these teams have played inside the space of a month. I’ll be honest, I think it stinks. What I won’t complain about is that the Knicks haven’t played the Wizards yet. They haven’t been able to steer completely clear but not having them come through has paid dividends. Unfortunately their health concerns are extremely troublesome and the league’s health on the whole seems in perpetual jeopardy. Nevertheless, the games keep rolling out.

I just don’t understand pushing this season further and further with COVID constantly expanding, detonating. All we’ve really done is learn how to slow it down a smidge. We’re so close to getting a vaccine and the decision to blitz a slippery ball handler has our immune defense playing one on two. The crush to keep the machine running rather than shutting it down for scheduled maintenance is damaging the dumb machine. Blame whoever you want, none of it matters.

But yea. I feel up. Feeling kinda hyper because basketball never stops. Friday night schedule loss is in place. There’s gotta be a nice, cool beverage around here somewhere. Yea! Everything is ready to crash and burn. Let’s play some basketball! Right, everyone? Ah who cares. Whenever you feel like you’re at a loss, just turn to Kyle O’Quinn.

Projected Starters

These fools are broken in ten over here, and they have a roster that Steve Mills or Troy Weaver would salivate over. Andre Drummond has since been upgraded to probable but look at this mess!

Are we gonna get to see some Matt Mooney minutes? I’m certain Dennis Smith Jr. is looking to reclaim his career with a couple minutes guarding one of the shakiest ball handlers in the league.

Elfrid Payton v. Damyean Dotson?

Reggie Bullock v. Cedi Osman?

RJ Barrett v. Isaac Okoro

Julius Randle v. Larry Nance?

Mitchell Robinson v. Andre Drummond?

For the Knicks, Reggie Bullock is probably back tonight which should help Austin Rivers come in and perhaps be a little more comfortable as a heat check hitter. Frank Ntilikina and Alec Burks are still out.

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

It doesn’t matter who plays. The Knicks better be ready to bring the heat. Starving for a win, they’ve largely had this team’s number all month. The Cavs don’t seem to be taking this game seriously, sending practically no one to play. Does that mean Julius Randle can just run roughshod over this ramshackle lineup? Can RJ Barrett get to the rim and punish the Cedi Osman’s of the world for a little change of pace? Will Elfrid Payton just continue to tie the paint in a knot? Will the rain ever stop falling?

No but seriously, can Mitchell Robinson figure out Andre Drummond, please? Can Immanuel Quickley also please generate some synergy with the starting unit and chisel away at Payton’s minutes? I won’t even cry my pitiful tears about wanting to get a look at Obi Toppin. Some Quickley steps to the captain’s chair and some Robinson cognitive advancement against a beastly goof. That’d be plenty.

Knicks by -6

Knicks Butch Beard Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

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