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Game Preview: Knicks @ Nets, 4/5/2021

Deez Bums

New York Knicks v New Jersey Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Hey remember when Michael Rapaport and a random Nets player exchanged pleasantries in the most online way imaginable? I’m still waiting on the Howard Beck hot takedown. From serving mass produced cupcakes to artisanal yeast donuts, Kevin Durant has tried to reinterpret his slim image several times. In some ways it’s worked out but has never really stuck together. The latest venture for the facade of castle Kevin isn’t as a surveillance equipment tycoon using government subsidies. No, it’s more like a person who is sorry for (getting exposed) saying horrible shit to an absolute dope. Ultimately all I can see is two lonely lame motherfuckers.

Bowowowow, that’s reason seventy-jillion why every time the Nets lose it’s fully deserved. The Knicks are coming off probably their hottest scoring night of the year. Hopefully that continues for them tonight in Brooklyn, or if not, at least make the ones that you really gotta have.

That was just yesterday and without Durant or James Harden, so Nets fans will say it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t count or maybe- it’s the Bulls they’re better than you, you stupid Knicks with your 27 power forwards you signed. Let ‘em yammer.

It may well be a very different scenario tonight as Durant is gathering steam to return and will either show up today or before the week is out after a long stretch on the shelf with a hamstring injury. In any case, I’m not gonna act like the Knicks don’t have their issues. They may be overachieving and they’re definitely the underdogs. What can ya do? I just hope that creep doesn’t look at yesterday’s loss and Harden’s hamstring injury and think to himself: I gotta pretend this rivalry is real and matters.

New Jersey Nets vs. New York Knicks, Game 2 Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Projected Starters

I wish Mitchell Robinson was healthy because I’d love to see both teams at (close to) full strength. All told, I really enjoy seeing everyone healthy and playing well, it’s just the most exciting version of it. So although Harden and Durant are questionable, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here.

Elfrid Payton v James Harden

Reggie Bullock v Kyrie Irving

RJ Barrett v Joe Harris

Julius Randle v Kevin Durant

Nerlens Noel v LaMarcus Aldridge

I guess that means I want the more wholesome troll stylings of Spencer Dinwiddie in the mix too. I guess. He could probably teach Durant a thing or two about how to handle one’s online public self.

Patrick Ewing grabs a rebound Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/ NBAE/ Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

Well, gotta get stops if and when you can. Doesn’t look like teams will really be able to figure that out ever if the Nets are at full strength. They aren’t as bad defensively as they initially projected after getting Harden. They still have distinct weaknesses that can be head hunted.

You can’t miss any bunnies if you have ‘em but outscoring these creeps will be an immense challenge. The Knicks have established an identity as a rough and tumble group. Tops in the league in defensive efficiency, they don’t have a big three, more of a big horde of guys who will crack and whack you.

Look at how tickled Julius is! I need to know what’s going through his head. Since I don’t know and will never find out, here’s some guesses:

  • Big Three Ninnies.
  • Big Three of punks I’m about to bruise up and floss my teeth with.
  • If I could pick anyone to play with on that team it would be Joe Harris.
  • Kevin Durant is so skinny his shoelaces tried to get vaccinated for being morbidly obese.
  • I’ve talked to all of those guys and they are so fucking weird, you’ll never fully understand.
  • I bet they won’t play because they don’t want the pain I will inflict on their weak bodies.
  • They let Norvel Pelle walk and now the only good pivot man they have is Nic Claxton and they won’t play him because LaMarcus Aldridge is about to catch these buckets. LOLOLOLOL

If you know what Julius was thinking, please comment below.

Game is at 7:00, Knicks by -33.

New Jersey Nets v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

At the rate the Knicks are going they look like a playin team more than a playoff team. It’s bound to be rough sledding if they just hang out playing .500 adjacent ball. They have a tough back half of the schedule and while they may have done enough to stay above the 9th and 10th place fray, they’re mostly looking like a group that will have to fight for the chance to meet a team like, well, the Nets! Last time they met in the post-season was 2004. The then New Jersey Nets swept New York in a first round series probably most memorable for the Tim Thomas and Kenyon Martin beef.

With any luck a potential meeting would go more like the time before that, in 1994 when the Knicks squeezed past the Nets and eventually made a run to the Finals. Just let me have my fuzzy thoughts.

New Jersey Nets vs. New York Knicks, Game 2 Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images