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Game Preview: Knicks @ Clippers, 5/9/2021

Our guys is gonna be Angelinos for a couple dias.

Earl Monroe Dribbling the Ball

Each blip on the radar is a chance for the Knicks to lose their grip on the fourth spot in the East. As the blips turn to a swarm it might be high time to get the nuke codes together, we might be on the verge of a meltdown. Today’s sights are on the Clippers who sport the third-best record in the West. Just in front of the Nuggets and just behind the Suns. They close out the season with games against the tanking Rockets and Thunder. I wish the Knicks ended the season with twin cherries to pluck.

Here’s the deal though. Playing the Knicks isn’t a dress rehearsal anymore, so even though they’ve lost to some of the best clubs in the league, they’re no cake walk. Other than Dallas, the Clippers have the weakest strength-of-schedule on the left coast and this ain’t part of it. Though given the tight registration out there, this is a game they kinda need. New York of course needs everything because their strength-of-schedule is among the hardest in the league from here on out. Finishing against Boston and Charlotte could very easily flop them from offers to inners.

To hell with the house money. Every game is a playoff game.

Buffalo Braves v New York Knicks Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Projected Starters

It remains to be seen whether Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks can get back into the mix but New York desperately needs their electricity. Unfortunately, it’s not looking good.

Maybe it’s me, probably it’s you, but Elfrid Payton is too lazy to deserve minutes. I’m sure someone in the comments will apologize for him, “He’s not lazy, he’s just slow.” Aww boo god damned hoo. Get these 15 minutes the fuck out of here. A wet glob of nothing. Bad defense, bad offense. Everyone else offers something good. Not Elf. After this year, he certainly hates Knick fans. Well guess what, bucko, good luck in the martian league or wherever you go after this. I’m sure Jarrett Jack will love having you as his backup. I hope you enjoy getting traded like Luke Ridnour all throughout the Big Three next summer. Get lost, chump.

Anyway, wish you well in your personal life. Heaven forbid I be misconstrued by someone trying to make their errant point by purposely using a devolved version of mine. I’m talking shit.

Elfrid Payton v Reggie Jackson

Reggie Bullock v Paul George

RJ Barrett v Kawhi Leonard

Julius Randle v Marcus Morris Sr.

Nerlens Noel v Ivica Zubac

The Clippers have been missing Serge Ibaka for a million years and he should remain sidelined. That’s fantastic news because the Knicks hated getting out to the perimeter when the Clips were in NY. They have generally struggled with shooting bigs. Hey Marcus Morris, always a Knick, right???

New York Knicks v Buffalo Braves Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Keys & Predictions

LA’s big rotation is designed to end Nerlens Noel. Sadness in the granular truth, playoff hoops will teach you that like Vern Schillinger. Bulbous hulks that will throttle him backward until he’s under the cup and then go up through Air Nerlens’ feathery contact. Suffice to say, I’m not looking forward to the Zubac-Cousins experience. I hope Taj Gibson isn’t tired of cleaning up the mess. Get well soon, Mitch. Nerl, I’m sorry, big fella. You just a thin gent with irresponsible bunnies and propeller hands. Oh lord, my feels.

Of course it’s not all on Nerlens, who has done a fantastic job all told. There’s just some pairings that have a spunk-forward, lingering aftertaste. When it comes to taste though, a refreshing and vibrant, Julius Randle, has been the greatest revelation in recent Knicks history. He’s also coming up against someone who every player in the world should find ways to emulate. Randle just happens to be talented enough to approximate some of the celestial stylings of one Kawhi Leonard.

I sincerely urge you to read that article. Tremendous work from my Jewish brethren from another rabbinical reverend, Benjy Ritholtz. Heap praise on him.

Game is at 3:30, Knicks by -8.

Buffalo Braves v New York Knicks Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Parting Shot

The Knicks get to slow their roll here for a couple days with an LA two-fer. They need a split at the absolute least. The going is getting rough though. I call on the spirit of Clyde, the effervescence of light. Shake ‘em up, move the ball, move your feet, rock the house... the house... the house...

Buffalo Braves v New York Knicks