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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Clippers, 1/31/2021

Matinee madness

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The return of Marcus Morris! Afternoon style. Yea, sure Marcus Morris Sr. will be back playing basketball in New York, to no fanfare. But the return of Marcus Morris that I’m referring to is, of course, Immanuel Quickley! Sure the Knicks managed to snag a future second round pick from Detroit out of it somehow but Manny-Man is an absolute gem. Let’s check back in with the wild rumpus he had on Friday night.




If basketball were a game of Clue: Mr. Quickley, in the bodega, with the fucking nunchuks over here. My god! That is an absolute defiling of Cedi Osman’s corpse. This guy comes off the bench? And got drafted outside the lottery? To quote the grand goof, David Fizdale, explain it to me.

Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Projected Starters

There’s something about how it both matters and does not matter what Quickley does. Obviously it matters to the outcome of the game, if he plays well, they have a great chance to win. He bonds the team together with his effervescence. At the same rate, he’d have to put together an extended stretch of dominance to get in front of Elfrid Payton. Maybe there’s something there though. Maybe it doesn’t matter what Quickley does and what we really need is extended time with Payton playing submissive. So he can be a substitute and Quick can be the starter. Lil dom/sub humor for ya.

Elfrid Payton v Reggie Jackson
Alec Burks v Paul George
RJ Barrett v Kawhi Leonard
Julius Randle v Nic Batum
Mitchell Robinson v Serge Ibaka

The Knicks should be near full health here. Reggie Bullock is still considered questionable with a neck injury but ya never know. For the Clips, Patrick Beverly is out with a knee injury. I’m sure he’s stocking up white tees for the eventual playoff bubble.

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Brad Mangin/NBAE via Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

Winners of nine of their last ten games, Los Angeles isn’t looking to slow anything down today against the mid-grade Knicks. There are some curious matchups across the board and the Knicks brutish front line might be able to make some hay attacking the rejuvenated Nic Batum.

Defensively I’m kinda hoping to see Julius Randle pitted against Kawhi Leonard some. Unfortunately a middling team needs to rely very heavily on their All Star. With any luck the extra heft will push Kawhi into some bad tough decision making as he works his way to the interior. It would also keep RJ Barrett on the perimeter a little more, likely slotted up with Nic Batum. I wouldn’t expect the Knicks to line up that way, but it might be a welcome switch.

Mitchell Robinson will need to cover a lot of ground today, hopefully that doesn’t toss him in foul trouble jail.

Knicks by -8

Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

There are nine players in this photo. Six of whom played for the Knicks at some point. Loy Vaught and Danny Manning were never Knicks. The third, thoroughly obscured player, also never played for Knicks but can you guess who this mystery man is? There are at least three powerful context clues.

Ewing shoots jumpshot v Clippers Photo by Jon Soohoo/ NBAE/ Getty Images