The New York Knicks (24-31) ate a heaping helping of humble pie in Denver on Tuesday, losing 132-115. Tonight they are back for another slice, Frisco-style, when they visit the Golden State Warriors (41-14).
The Dubs lost 111-85 to the Jazz in Utah last night, but had won nine-straight prior to that. Steph and the Sunshine Gang are 9-1 in their last 10 games and are ranked second in both the Western Conference and the league. Steve Kerr has this team playing great defense (first in the league) and their usual potent offense (ninth best). They score 110.9 points per game and surrender 102.6, giving them a league-best +8.4 net rating.
The Knicks are 12th in the East and 11-16 on the road. A loss tonight would give them their longest losing streak of the season. ESPN.com generously gives the Knicks a 25% chance in this one. And RJ Barrett, injured during garbage time on Tuesday night, will miss the game with a sprained ankle. Odds of the Knicks losing another one? Da odds be good.
Tip-off’s at 10 p.m., three-point aficionados.
Steph Curry (6’2”, 185 lbs) leads the Warriors in minutes (34.8), field goal attempts (19.7), 3-point attempts (12.5), free throw attempts (4.7), steals (1.5), and points per game (25.7). Total bum. I might be wrong, but I think Steph could’ve been acquired for an Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, and Kemba Walker package. Leon should have made the call!
Who will oppose Steph at point guard tonight? Kemba, probably. Feel the excitement?
Klay Thompson (6’6”, 215 lbs) is finally back after having a torn right Achilles repaired and has averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and three assists in 12 games this season. In his ninth year in the league, the 32-year old is shooting 38% from behind the arc, which is down from his career average of 42%, on 7.5 attempts per game.
In his last five outings, his defense has remained suspect, but Evan Fournier has averaged 20 points and four rebounds. Let’s hope those numbers continue, and that wasn’t simply an audition for trade suitors to rescue the Frenchman from New York.
First-time All-Star Andrew Wiggins (6’7”, 197 lbs) is a man reborn in California. In his eighth season, the former Jayhawk has averaged 18.1 points and 4.3 boards. Who will he square off against with RJ absent? Burks, most likely. A renegade might start Cam Reddish, but that…does not…compute in the Thibodeau operating system. (Now with floppy drive!)
In his ninth campaign, Otto Porter, Jr. (6’8”, 198 lbs). has averaged 8.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. The Georgetown alum is shooing 48% from the field and 40% from deep. Julius Randle has averaged 30 points, 10.7 rebounds, and six assists in his last 3 games and should easily outmuscle Porter tonight.
Center Kevin Looney (6’9”, 222 lbs) is listed as day-to-day with a bruised left quad. In his seventh season, the UCLA product has averaged 7.6 rebounds and 6.3 points. Mitchell Robinson was a leviathan against Utah on Monday, which of course left him too sore to play on Tuesday in Denver. He has been declared “questionable” for tonight’s tilt. If he’s unfit to play, I formally request 48 minutes of Jericho Sims.
Are you feeling deflated after the trade deadline came and went without any major Knicks’ moves? Yeah, me too. Always we begin again. I’ll try to stay up for tonight’s game, because the Warriors can be a fun team to watch. They are 25-5 at home and almost certain to notch another in the win column tonight. Who knows, maybe they’ll be huffing fumes after last night’s workout in Utah and some of their sharpshooting shine will rub off on the Knicks. And yet...New York will be without their two best defenders, RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes (knee soreness), so….Man, I don’t want to say it. OK. Prediction: Knicks by -18.
Chase Center. Thursday. 10 p.m. Give us the nice effort, New York!