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Game Preview: Knicks vs Timberwolves, 2/21/2021

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Sometimes it snows in April

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

After the bottom dropped out of a wild comeback on Friday night, the Timberwolves come to New York licking their wounds. Knick fans of course are well versed in the fake comeback. Just because you can get back in the game with a spectacular play and a wild run doesn’t mean you’ve built a trusty foundation.

I know what you’re thinking: but he shot poorly! Is that right? Did he take bad shots? Did he play the wrong way? Shut up, egg head. Anthony Edwards, like all young players, is figuring it out. Playing in an expanded role because of his team’s injury woes and still a teenager, the kid is doing just fine and flashing some amazing signs. I say that not because I’m a huge Ant Man fan but because the Knicks have a lineup packed to the brim with youngsters just trying to figure some stuff out, and I think they all deserve some gravity to make mistakes and not be excoriated.

This is part of loving the game. It’s those 26-year old guys, those third contract guys, those are the guys you mince. The rookies just need to get in the stew for another day or so before you try to tell me how flavorless they are.

So yea, you can’t dunk on nobody, punk! You weak!

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Projected Starters

Well, you know about the Knicks at this point. The Timberwolves are dealing with some injuries. D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Culver will both be out leaving them a little thinner on the perimeter.

Elfrid Payton v Ricky Rubio

Reggie Bullock v Malik Beasley

RJ Barrett v Anthony Edwards

Julius Randle v Jared Vanderbilt

Nerlens Noel v Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

With a big man than can invert the floor with his shooting, it might not matter quite so much that the Wolves are missing some key players. Will Karl-Anthony Towns be hitting and will he punish the Knicks on the interior if he isn’t are the major questions. The removal of Russell from the lineup actually allows Malik Beasley more room to stretch his legs with the offense and of late he’s been doing quite well.

Super Untoward Beas has been hitting 41% of his threes and scoring over 20 a game since the start of January. It’s on defense where he gives it back. The Knicks of course have been getting teams to shoot poorly all year but have struggled with scoring bigs. Thank god there’s no Kevin Garnett out there. He was a two-way death sentence.

With any luck, no Tri-State products will spin New York into damage control.

Knicks by -4

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

The Knicks have had plenty of time off, after having their game against the Spurs canceled. On JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man & the Three, Julius Randle said it’s been tough to learn and grow as a team because they almost never practice due to the constricted schedule. So maybe the extended home stand with no games has given them the opportunity to add a new layer to their offense. If there’s a team you should be trying out new concepts against, here they are.

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

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