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Preview of the Knicks’ upcoming week, Jan. 21-27

One in Brooklyn and two at MSG.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The long homestand is briefly interrupted with a trip to the Barclays Center, then New York returns to MSG to face the reigning champs and those feisty Floridians.

Knicks at Nets, 7:30 pm, Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Brooklyn Nets are floundering. Jacque Vaughn’s team has a 17-25 record, rank 16th for offense, and are 20th for defense. Led by Mikal Bridges, who averages 21.4 points, they post about 114 points per game. They have won only two of their last ten contests.

When the two teams squared off in December, New York won 121-102. The two Cams, Thomas and Johnson, both recorded 20 points in their defeat. For the Knicks, Julius Randle scored 26 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 23 on 5-of-10 shooting from downtown.

Spencer Dinwiddie has all but disappeared for the club, and according to Nets Daily, “The Nets now sit with 12 losses in games where they led or trailed by at least five points in the final five minutes. That’s the sixth most in the NBA. They also have the fifth lowest win percentage in said games this year.”

Ahh, schadenfreude, you are like a warm blanket. The Knicks should win easily and enjoy another night at home in their beds.

Knicks vs Nuggets, 7:30 pm, Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Denver Nuggets (30-14) are rolling again. Last year’s champs rank seventh for offense and 12th for defense this season. Monster masher Nikola Jokić leads the team in points (26.1), rebounds (11.9), and assists (9.1) per game. Their number two, Jamal Murray, is no slouch either, contributing 20.9 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 41% from deep on 5.7 attempts per contest. Plus Michael Porter, Jr. is making 41% of 6.9 attempts from downtown, and Aaron Gordon is shooting 58% from the field (although terribly from downtown). Denver is stacked.

Thanks to a concentrated defensive effort, the Knicks overcame 28% shooting from downtown to win their last engagement with the Denver Nuggets, 116-110, on March 18. Be assured, aggressive defense will be required to achieve that difficult feat again.

Knicks vs Heat, 3:00 pm, Saturday, January 27, 2024

The Miami Heat (24-19) are neck-and-neck with the Knicks in the Eastern Conference standings. Whatever pact Pat Riley made with Satan continues to pay dividends. Lose Gabe Vincent, Max Strus in the offseason? No worries, rookie Jaime Jaquez, Jr. will pick up the slack and average 14 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Whiff on Damian Lillard? Never fear, Duncan Robinson will have a bounce-back year and shoot 41% on seven attempts beyond the arc per game.

When the teams squared off in November, the Knicks beat the Heat, 100-98. Jalen Brunson led New York with 24 points, while Jimmy Butler scored 23 and Bam Adebayo had a 21/10 double-double for the Flaming Neons. Will the Bockers win again in the Saturday matinee?

You betcha. Go Knicks!