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Game Preview: Knicks at Magic, 2/17/2021

Orlando Tragic

Orlando Magic v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Can the Knicks make it four in a row? The team slipped down to Orlando for a quick dance with the bubble in the pale moonlight. Hopefully they don’t shoot down to Naples and wander into any grocery stores. Of course you can buy tickets and attend this game. Hopefully no sick morons go and cough on anyone’s head when their $19 Michelob Ultra goes down the wrong pipe.

I can’t wait to get vaccinated, ‘Reem. My parents got their first doses, and so has one of my sisters. It’s a small bit of solace through this chaotic stream of deathly affirmations. Even as I watch basketball, something that typically has kept me sane and happy, I just feel dread for the players and coaches and everyone in the arena.

I’m glad they can work and all that but I just feel like these folks are an overlooked arm of the service industry. Keeping me epoxied to the idiot box. I even know some front line workers that have refused the vaccine and I just fall to pieces! How!? The uninhibited selfishness boggles my mind. If you can get it, get it. For your family, your community, society. Don’t be a fucking asshole just this one time.

Orlando Magic center (4) Rony Seikaly goes over th Photo credit should read TONY RANZE/AFP via Getty Images

Projected Starters

My favorite Knick of all time was Anthony Mason, my favorite Knick of right now is Frank Ntilikina and he should be back tonight! If there’s a blowout, maybe we’ll even see him get some minutes.

As long as Julius is playing, the rest will work itself out. After the first half on Monday I was worried that Thibs was feeling a little iffy about Immanuel Quickley that night. In the second half though, Derrick Rose and Quickley played the whole fourth quarter and Elfrid Payton didn’t get off the bench. Dreamy night for Jules and Nerlens Noel and RJ Barrett both had some impassioned shots and sequences down the stretch. As much as I enjoyed Noel’s efforts, I sorely miss Mitchell Robinson.

I guess if it ain’t so broke...

Elfrid Payton v Michael Carter-Williams

Reggie Bullock v Terrence Ross

RJ Barrett v James Ennis

Julius Randle v Gary Clark

Nerlens Noel v Nikola Vucevic

The Magic on the other hand are pretty busted up. Jonathan Isaac (torn ACL), Markelle Fultz (torn ACL) and Aaron Gordon (severe ankle sprain) are all out for extended periods. Cole Anthony is done through at least the All Star Break with a broken rib. Then James Ennis, Al Farouq-Aminu and Evan Fournier are all listed as questionable.

New York Knicks v Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

Despite all the guys that will be missing or hampered, the Magic do still have their best player, Nikola Vucevic. Anytime you have an All Star on your roster, there’s always a puncher’s chance. Send help, waves of it. Extra pressure at the top of the key if need be.

Last time these two played, on Martin Luther King Day, RJ Barrett pushed the team to a sneak away win. It was a great day for Knick fans.

The other guy that worries me on the Magic is Terrence Ross. He got super upset the last time these teams met and I’m sure he wants to wear some of the Knicks asses out. Ross is one of those guys that could toss up a random 50-ball every now and then, and this seems like exactly the time for him to be that type of annoying guy. Fun when he dumps that on the Mavericks but tonight is the Knicks we’re talking about here. That type of aggression will not stand, man.

Knicks by -33

O’Neal pass Photo by Chuck Solomon/NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

I just wanted to see Mase today. Sue me. I know the real clash of the Titans is these big fellas. Nikola Vucevic isn’t on the same level of course, but the Magic man will need to be corralled as best as the Knicks can do tonight.

New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

For more on this game, including some trademark warmup music, check us out over at The Strickland. Feel free to comment along there too!