2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

The Knicks return home after a tough road trip to host the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are having an eerily similar season to the Knicks. Both teams were expected to be awful and yet, so far, both Cleveland and the Knicks have been mediocre more than bad. The Cavs are currently tied for the #6 seed and the Knicks are tied for the #8 seed right now.

Soo…if the Knicks win tonight, they probably go into sole possession of the #8 seed in the East (as of, you know, roughly 30% of the season completed). So that’s something!

After getting beaten every which way but loose in the West, I think a return East is just what the doctor ordered and the Knicks will knock the Cavaliers under .500 tonight.

Let’s go, getting closer to .500, Knicks!

NY Post: Knicks fade late in loss to Jazz to end road trip with dud

I figure this way, Farfa can do his awesome recaps whenever he gets a chance, but in the meantime, we could have a general recap thread rather than drag out the game thread ad infintum.

From Marc Berman at the Post:

There was no stopping Utah killer Austin Rivers in the first half Tuesday. The slumping Knicks guard dropped a career-high 25 points in 12 minutes and made his first 10 shots — five of them 3-pointers.

And the Knicks were thumping the Jazz like they did in earlier this month when Rivers scored the game’s final 14 points.

But the magic stopped for Doc Rivers’ son. Rivers pushed off on a drive, picking up his third foul with 4:30 left in the opening half and Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau decided to pull Rivers and his perfect game.

The night was never the same. Rivers didn’t come back until there was 4:11 left in the third quarter and had lost his hottest of hands as the Jazz rallied from 15 points down to gain revenge on the Knicks, 108-94, at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

Rivers finished with those 25 as the Knicks (8-11) finished the four-game Western trip at 1-3. Rivers missed all four of his shots in the second half as the Jazz heated up from 3 and the Knicks dropped the final three games of the trip after notching the opener against Golden State.

It was obviously a tale of two halves. In the first half, Rivers was unconscious and the Jazz couldn’t buy a bucket and in the second half, well, as noted, Rivers didn’t score a single point and the Jazz got hot from three as the Invisible Sixth Man sprained his ankle trying to cover Mike Conley.

It was disappointing seeing the Knicks fade so dramatically in the fourth quarter, as they still clung to a one point lead entering the quarter (only one because Rivers fouled Conley thinking that the Knicks had a foul to give when they did not) but then the Jazz opened with a 20-3 run, but hey, the Jazz are a really good team. They’re one of the best defenses in the game and their three-point centric offense is particularly a problem for a team like the Knicks.

Last game, Mitchell Robinson dominated Rudy Gobert, but this time, the All-NBA Frenchman got the best of Robinson.

Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks both had terrible shooting nights and Obi Toppin, Elfrid Payton and Kevin Knox were mostly invisible. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett both had decent games.

The Knicks are thankfully finished with a tough West Coast stint and return to the Garden for a game against the Cavaliers on Friday that will hopefully see the Knicks return to winning some games.

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Jazz

The Knicks head to Utah for a rematch with the Jazz, who have won EIGHT STRAIGHT since losing to the Knicks.

So we all know what that means, right?

Bad News for the Jazz!

Oh wait, shit, that’s the Bad News Bears slogan. Sorry, it means…might as well lose this one!

Especially since the Jazz have been SCORCHING hot from three lately, so it is a good game for the Invisible Sixth Man to shut some shit down!

Let’s go get back to close to .500, Knicks!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Trailblazers

The Knicks head to Portland to take on the Trailblazers who, due to the crazy bunching together in the Western Conference standings, are somehow the current #4 seed despite only having an 8-6 record!

The Blazers, of course, are in the news for having TWO players break bones in their body, with both Jusuf Nurkic (broken wrist) and CJ McCollum (broken foot) out for an extended period of time. The Blazers actually have strong depth, but going from Nurkic and McCollum to Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood is…ungood.

The Blazers are a top ten offense, but they’re also one of the very worst teams in the NBA on defense, so that should help the Knicks’ offense. I think that this is a good matchup for the Knicks. I think they’ll get back to .500 tonight.

Let’s go, get back to .500, Knicks!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Kings

Coming off of a resounding victory against the Golden State Warriors, the Knicks head to Sacramento to face a sputtering Kings team with an excellent chance to go OVER .500!

Hopefully Hali has a shitty game. It’d be swell if Quickley outdid him.

Let’s go, get a winning record, Knicks!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Warriors

The Knicks head to San Francisco to take on the Golden State Warriors, led by Wadrell Curry.

The Warriors have been struggling, so this is a perfect chance for the Knicks to get back to .500 ahead of some winnable games.

Let’s go get back to .500, Knicks!

NY Post: Elfrid Payton clinging to Knicks starting spot with stellar defense

From Marc Berman:

Like a cat’s nine lives, Elfrid Payton has survived all point-guard comers to hold onto the starting job for a second straight season — even turning back surging rookie Immanuel Quickley.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina have proved no competition — each suffering early-season injuries to eliminate them as contenders. Each will be trade bait at the March 25 deal deadline.

Austin Rivers overcame a groin injury that put him out of the preseason and the season’s first four games. After a hot start, Rivers has leveled off.

Quickley keeps on charging, but Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s victory in Boston that Payton will remain the starter over the rookie because of one thing: defense.

It’s a new thread!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Magic

The Knicks host the Magic on their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee (I used to go these a lot back in the day). The Knicks actually WEREN’T home last year, which irritated the Knicks a lot (they were also on the road in 2018, but that was because of a scheduling conflict with the Grammys). So even though there won’t be an audience, I’m still glad to see the Knicks back at the Garden for MLK Day.

The Magic have been struggling, so this would be a nice game for the Knicks to snare on the back end of a back-to-back. Hopefully Quickley will continue his strong play from the last few games and hopefully Toppin continues to improve after a good game against the Celtics.

Let’s go, get closer to .500, Knicks!

And happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Celtics

The Knicks head to Boston to play the Celtics, as the Boston squad is depleted due to injuries and COVID.

Kemba Walker miiiiiight return from injury today. We shall see.

The Knicks have lost five straight and the Celtics have won five straight. Let’s hope that both streaks end today.

Let’s go, streak breaking Knicks!

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ the Cavs’ New All-Center Starting Lineup

Now that Jarrett Allen is on the Cavaliers and the Cavaliers’ starting backcourt is out due to injury, I think they’ll probably go something like:

Javale McGee at the point (they actually tried a little bit of point McGee in the preseason, hilariously)
Andre Drummond at shooting guard
Larry Nance at the three
Thon Maker at power forward
Jarrett Allen at center

All-Center lineup!

The Knicks finally catch a team that is A. also missing a bunch of guys and B. is also in the middle of a comedown losing streak following a surprisingly good start to the season, so this is sort of like the movable object facing off against the resistible force. Someone is going to leave here at 6-7, why not the Knicks?

Let’s go, bounceback game Knicks!

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