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Game Preview: Knicks vs Hawks, 2/15/2021

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Dominate, kill wins.

Houston Rockets vs. Atlanta Hawks Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Bro. Hope your Galentine’s day was pleasant and swell. With Frank Ntilikina in COVID protocol, I’m not even sure who my sweetie was. Mitchell Robinson is out with a broken hand! I need a sweetie. Derrick Rose... ah forget it. I surely did miss my Knicks fix yesterday. In the end I don’t need Valley Day to tell them I love them. Besides I did get a box of chocolates from the Trail Blazers when they minced the Mavs.

Oh the humanity! The most valuable player to come out of the Mavs lotto pick has yet to be determined but the more they lose, the more I love. Maybe not a Valentiney sorta deal, but it’s a real love. Even if the 2021 unprotected first round draft pick the Mavs owe the Knicks ended up in the middle of the first because of a dramatic turnaround by Dallas, I will love whoever the Knicks get with that choice like a brother and I’ll fight to the death for their prosperity. That selection is already a slam dunk. A champion.

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Projected Starters

Well the Knicks are rolling all of the sudden. So there really shouldn’t be any urgency to shift things around. The Hawks meanwhile have lost their last three contests and I think they should sit Trae Young.

Elfrid Payton v Trae Young

Reggie Bullock v Kevin Huerter

RJ Barrett v Cam Reddish

Julius Randle v John Collins

Nerlens Noel v Clint Capela

If I had to guess, I’d bet that Trae will start and play. I’m a good guesser. For example, when guessing how many pairs of brothers played in the NBA together at the same time I guessed six. Turns out that the correct answer is 70, but who’s counting?

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

While the Knicks have acquitted themselves reasonably well in the absence of Mitchell Robinson so far, this is the first chance for them to go up against a team that sports a player with infinite range since he’s been out. Trae Young will also put them in dozens of pick and rolls. I have pretty solid trust in Nerlens Noel to compete out in space against Trae if they force a switch, but it ain’t ideal. Just the same, Mitch or not, the Knicks will rely on their defense and Julius Randle’s offense. Most importantly that defense.

Last time these teams met the Knicks eked out a five-point win. I expect more of the same.

Knicks by -5

New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

I’ve never really been a big fan of the dunk contest. It’s astounding and all that, these guys can do some unreal feats of athleticism. The dunk contest is kinda ll the Knicks have really had for a while and Obi Toppin should keep that alive were he to be invited. It’s nice to have a team that is really on the precipice of building something though. More than they are slapping together a side show.

Anyway. Dominique was absolutely incredible a bonafide star, but if we can’t have a legend on the team, I’d vote for a bunch of Jerome Kerseys and steer clear of the Geralds.

1986 Slam Dunk Contest Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Oh yea and happy presidents day. Fuck all the presidents though. Buncha loser ass wipe idiot bastards.