After showing a competitive fire earlier in the year, the Knicks have been struggling of late. The entire starting lineup has been remade by David Fizdale on multiple occasions, and most of the opening night starters are now coming off the bench. As you see on the internet memes all the time: This ain’t it, chief. You need to be consistent with your lineups.
For New Orleans, they have been up and down for the past few weeks, but they may now be without Nikola Mirotic, who injured his ankle late in the team’s loss to Minnesota. They cannot win when they are not healthy. As good as Jrue and AD are, they cannot do it alone.
So, as of the Knicks last game, eleven different players have started at least one game. Only Mario Hezonja has played in every game without a start, while only THJ has started in every game he has played in. At 4-11, and still waiting on Kristaps to recover, this is not the year for the Knicks to try and win all of their games. But, it is odd to see so many different lineup choices. Enes Kanter has continued to be effective as a reserve, but this is not something that has been winning games for them. Allonzo Trier, who they signed as a UDFA this year, is now averaging 11 points per night, and is a starter.
It’s good to see that Kevin Knox has finally recovered from his ankle injury, and is now a starter. Though it comes at the cost of another player, this is something necessary. He was hyped up in the offseason and preseason, but after his injury, his return kind of flew under the radar. Last thing that really looks bad though, is bringing Ntilikina off the bench. You took him #8 last year, and now you don’t start him. No, no.
AD and Julius Randle both need to get the job done for this team- both on the glass and in regard to finishing inside. Randle was absolutely horrendous against the Wolves, who had his number from the beginning. Davis is usually effective, and very rarely not on his game. If they can get him and Jrue Holiday going, the offense should be able to plenty of damage in this game.
E’Twaun Moore was dominant in the Pelicans last game as well, and they could really use his offense. He has improved further this year, and is posting 16.0 points per game on 56.3% shooting and 49% from three. They did not expect this level of production from him when they added him, but boy has he been effective.
Pelicans move to 10-9, knock off the Knicks
On a night like this, New Orleans (-10.5) is able to get the job done. Their big men are going to dominate the younger Knicks, and that will be that. It will be a good lesson for Mitchell Robinson.
Free Pick: Pelicans
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