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Game Preview: Knicks vs. Thunder, 1/8/2021

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COVID or go home.

Walt Frazier Dribbling the Ball

I guess there will be NBA action tonight. Great. Seth Curry got a positive result on his COVID-19 test prior to the 76ers game in Brooklyn last night. That information leaked basically as soon as the game ended. The NBA has been doing a reasonably good job physically distancing the bench and it seems like they are serious about contact tracing, but when it comes down to it, these guys are running around breathing heavily on one another, with their pores open, sweating profusely, the chances of contraction are high. The Sixers played Washington the previous night, Wednesday. Now both teams are quarantining in place, Philly in Brooklyn, Washington in Boston.

Despite the results, these maniacs played their nationally televised game. I don’t wonder why. The league had some retro jerseys to sell. One of the storylines leading in was that for “personal reasons” Kyrie Irving was MIA last night and it came out soon after that he would not be traveling with the team to Memphis for their next game. People got their he weird jokes off, but I dunno maybe he weirdly just doesn’t want to contract a virus that has claimed the lives of 365k people in less than a year.

Nothing to see here, I suppose. Move it along, folks.

Projected Starters

Elfrid Payton v. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Reggie Bullock v. George Hill

RJ Barrett v. Luguentz Dort

Julius Randle v. Darius Bazley

Mitchell Robinson v. Al Horford

Still no Frank Ntilikina or Obi Toppin for the ‘Bockers. The Thunder will most likely be without their young impresario, Aleksej Pokuševski, who is still subject to the concussion protocol after getting kneed in the head in practice on Sunday.

Seattle Super Sonics v New York Knicks
Look at these muscle bound gams!

Keys & Predictions

No Poku is sort of upsetting. That kid is fun and I’d love to see how the Knicks handle the Serbian sensation. Truth be told, Julius Randle would probably just obliterate the paper thin teenager. As it stands Big Jules will have to raze Darius Bazley instead. To his credit Bazley screwed over Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orangemen, so I’m always pulling for him, but not tonight!

He’s a no-go tonight but I can’t wait to get eight minutes from Taj Gibson, just to give Julius Randle a little rest and some extra pop when he blasts into chumps like Bazley going straight through that crinkled chest, en route to a game clinching rally.

Knicks by 1.

New York Knicks v Seattle Supersonics Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Warm Up Music

This one goes out to Julius.