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Game Preview: Knicks @ Lakers, 5/11/21

Get it.

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The magic number is two. Over the next four games, the Knicks either need a pair of wins or they’ll need one win and one Celtics loss to clinch a spot in the playoffs. With Jaylen Brown now officially out for the remainder of the season, New York’s chances have gone up. They’ll still need to handle their business, especially if they want home court advantage. If they were to lose out, they could drop to 7th for the playin but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

New York’s remaining games are today, Thursday, then they have 3two games in two rampaging afternoons. Saturday against Charlotte (who has an extremely slim chance to still make the ‘offs, and an increasingly threatening chance of getting dropped from the ‘ins). The SEGABABA is Sunday against those Celtics. It’s totally possible that New York will be playing their final game of the season for the right to avoid a playin series! Hold on to your butts, everybody.

That final weekend will be a total slop-fest with every single game tipping at the same time! Check your local listings for Scott Foster.

Are you still holding your butts? Today is a real clenched cheek affair as well, don’t let any air biscuits squeeze out, you might find your bottom face down in the muck. Today the Lakers, and their best defense in the NBA, host the Knickerbockers in a test of wills. Both teams would like to control their own fate and the Lakers are one game back of the Trail Blazers in the overall standings but because Portland has the tiebreaker, it’s really 1.5 games. The strength-of-schedule in front of Portland is Goliath (Rockets, Jazz, Suns, Nuggets) but Damian Lillard and the Blazers are no stranger to long odds. With Anthony Davis back and Lebron James aiming to return, it seems like a lot is riding on this matchup. Can’t skip steps.

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Projected Starters

Amidst the chaos, the return of anti-vaxxer shit house, LeBron James, is on the horizon. But not today, Satan! Right? I hope. I don’t know. Them Lakers are sneaky.

Despite that missing feature, Anthony Davis has played some inspired ball since returning, and the Knicks absolutely have their work cut out for them. Thankfully starting in a hole is the norm, so we can safely assume it has nothing to do with the return of any mega-star(s).

Elfrid Payton v Alex Caruso

Reggie Bullock v Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

RJ Barret v LeBron James

Julius Randle v Anthony Davis

Nerlens Noel v Andre Drummond

New York might be willing to let Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks sit for another game rather than risk it as a result of the injury report. The rook is still listed as doubtful while Burks has been upgraded to questionable. Luca Vildoza is not available.

Regardless, whoever does play, they can’t back down!

The New York Knicks’ Latrell Sprewell putting some pressure on the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in 2002 Photo by J. Conrad Williams, Jr./Newsday via Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

Too many AD’s in this town. I know a lot of folks are still urinating in their diapers over not getting Andre Drummond. Meanwhile, Lakers fans will let you piss on them if you take Drummond away. After the Knicks sunk the Clippers, New York fans were whooping it up in the Staples Center, I can only imagine the supreme chaos if they knocked off the team that actually matter to the city.

As for the real AD, it’s a clash of the titans tonight, as perennial All NBA first teamer, Anthony Davis, takes on should-be All NBA first team first timer Julius Randle rolls back into the Staples Center where it all got off to a bad start. Julius is now a boatload and while Davis is no laughing matter, he probably doesn’t want too much trouble. When that shoulder drives through those bigs, they feel it right away.

This one might could be a defensive gem. Lakers are first in defensive rating and Knicks are fourth. Both teams have a fantastic mesh of helpers flying around and keeping their teammates bouncing back up to catch all the dominoes before they fall victim to an easy bucket.

Game is at 10:00, Knicks by -.

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Parting Shot

If the Knicks snare a win tonight it would be the first time since the Staples Center opened that New York was able to sweep their LA games.

Makes sense that, once he had established his power over the game, that was a mountain the Knicks could no longer climb. Kobe was a giant. Chomping his jersey and hitting fade aways over the cosmos. Eternal.

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images