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Game Thread: Knicks at Pelicans, October 28, 2023

A second-helping of birds as the Knicks square off with Zion and the Pelicans.

NBA: New York Knicks at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

One day after a shoot-out victory against one birdy team, the Atlanta Hawks, the New York Knicks (1-1) take on another, the New Orleans Pelicans (1-0). The Pels are front-loaded with talent, but the Knicks’ bench has the advantage. They must make hay when the primary Pelicans are perched on the pine.

Since 2021, Zion Williamson has averaged 29.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and six assists in his only two games against the Knicks. In NOLA’s first tilt this season, (vs. Grizzlies) the big fella tallied 23 points, seven boards, and three assists while shooting 9-of-17 FG (no threes attempted). CJ McCollum added two dozen points, six assists, and two steals while shooting 6-of-11 from three in 37 minutes. The Knicks should avoid CJ vs. Brunson match-ups tonight. Jalen could be gassed after hitting a career-high of eight threes in 33 minutes yesterday.

Jonas Valančiūnas is capable of buckets and boards. Since 2019, has averaged a double-double (15 and 12) in eight games against New York. The duo of Jonas and Herb Jones could cause frontcourt problems, but otherwise this should be a defense optional affair. Brandon Ingram has yet to sink a three this season; he shall try again tonight.

Fun fact: the North American Pelican can consume up to four pounds of food per day, but Zion can beat that, easy. Game time is 7:00 p.m. EST on MSG. This is your game thread. This is The Bird Writes. Please don’t post large photos, GIFs, or links to illegal streams in the thread. Be kind to one another, ornithologists. And go Knickerbockers!