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Game Preview: Knicks vs Bulls, 4/28/2021

Da streak died

Willis Reed jumpball Photo by Ken Regan/ NBAE/ Getty Images

Hey kiddies, did ya hear da news? Freakin’ da Knicks lost to a charged up solar panel. All things good, bad, impossibly stupid or shot by a cupid must come to an end. As such New York’s fun run got clipped. Tonight is the beginning of an opportunity to renew their convictions and continue to push for the fourth seed in the playoffs. The Knicks are tied with the Hawks and they’ll need to snare all the gimme games to hold them off, tonight being one such.

The Bulls are not doing so hot, clinging (with the Raptors) to one scrap of hope. They could make it to the tenth seed and sneak in with their ultimate hope of getting skewered by Brooklyn. That’s if they take care of business tonight and along the way. Even without Zach LaVine, they still have some tricky figures in their lineup and maybe this time away helps them figure out just how exactly to utilize their big trade deadline acquisition, Nikola Vucevic.

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks

Projected Starters

As above, so below. No Zach Lavine, who remains in the COVID protocol until at least the end of Chicago’s road trip. Additionally Troy Brown, also acquired at the deadline, from Washington (tenth in the East, one game ahead) will be sitting with an ankle injury.

Elfrid Payton v Coby White

Reggie Bullock v Garrett Temple

RJ Barrett v Patrick Williams

Julius Randle v Thaddeus Young

Nerlens Noel v Nikola Vucevic

New York is still missing the steady contributions of Alec Burks. Though that isn’t the sole reason their winning streak snapped, some extra scoring pop might have held the Suns at bay a little longer if he was available. Alas, can’t get to ten if you don’t start with one. Time for the Knicks to rebound.

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

What do the Knicks look like after the high is over. The come down is the hardest part. That viscerally hateful reality. Cruel wizened birds cawing right into your vibrating skull. Cacophonous frustrations of a remorseless paved god. The frenetic cathedral like a stop and go waterfall chopping the back of your head. You go. Slapping up in your face, you stop. And the smell! The nicotine and carrot-shit sewage, teeth boiled in coffee, the whipped ass butter of the city. Seafoam highs burnt into Liberty’s tears, a brick, red from the hate of another day.

Ya know, so like, are they gonna bounce back? That’d be key.

Game is at 7:30, Knicks by -53.

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks

Parting Shot

Even though the Knicks didn’t get to the vaunted deci-victory. They have clearly raised themselves up to a new plateau. A higher vantage point from here over their remaining ten games. Would it have been cool to write a whole bunch of plays on “1010 WINS” yes, of course. Buckle up anyway, buckaroos. Two teams have clinched playoff berths (Nets, Jazz) and two teams have been eliminated from playoff contention (Rockets, Timberwolves). The Knicks are currently holding on at 4th with an identical record to the Hawks (New York holds the tiebreaker having gone 3-0 against them).

With playoff seeding completely chaotic, and changing practically every game, the Knicks have only two of their remaining games against teams that should no doubt be sent to slaughter. This is one of them. The next game against Houston is the other. Then it’s a gauntlet of playoff teams with varying high stakes. The Knicks could technically lose out and miss the playoffs. So when the time comes, New York has to step up and nail their shots.

Walt Frazier On The Court Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images