The “Kemba Walker, ride the bench” tour officially begins on Tuesday night. The Knicks will travel to Brooklyn to face off with their in-city rival. The Nets are the latest team to fall to the Suns but should be just fine as they try and bounce back against a Knicks team having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment.
New York signed Kemba to a two-year $16 million deal in the offseason with the hopes that he could take over as the starter. He could open the games and leave the rest of the time for Derrick Rose so that he could serve as the team’s sixth man. But, it wasn’t working too well, and then Tom Thibodeau announced that Alec Burks would be the team’s starting PG moving forward. So much for that.
Brooklyn, meanwhile, got the news that Joe Harris will miss another 4-8 weeks after having surgery. It has been a bit tough for them not having their best shooter, but they have found ways to manage. Bruce Brown has continued to play well, while Cam Thomas has shown a few flashes on the floor. Depth is not the Nets’ friend, but having Patty Mills and LaMarcus Aldridge in the fold has helped tremendously.
This promises to be a battle between two teams still hungry in the days after Thanksgiving.
Betting Odds & Lines
The spread for the contest is set at BKN -6.5. The over/under is sitting at 217 points. The NYK moneyline is +210, while BKN is -267.
Knicks Seek Key Road Win
At 11-9, the Knicks have had some good moments this year. But, they have also struggled at times, and it is very clear that #30 is not the guy he was a season ago. Julius Randle has regressed to the player he was two years ago, putting up solid numbers but no longer doing it in the wins and sort of costing the team.
Randle is extremely talented but often tries to do too much. The rest of the team is pretty much role players, so it may then appear he feels like he has to. R.J. Barrett has found his groove and will look to continue to play well now in his third season.
New York will need to hit 15+ threes to have a chance.
Nets Look for Fifteenth Win
A 14-6 start is just what the doctor ordered for Brooklyn. They lost to Milwaukee in game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis a season ago, and they knew that they would have to bounce back. They have done all this without Kyrie Irving, unable to play for the team unless he reverses his vaccination stance.
James Harden and Kevin Durant have been incredible together, providing a preview of what OKC would have looked like if they never traded The Beard over to the Rockets in the way that they did. Look for BKN to lock in for this ‘rivalry game. The crowd will be loud, and a lot of Knick fans will be there.
Brooklyn will take care of business, sending the Knicks down to 11-10.
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