On December 31st, the New York Knicks will play Toronto Raptors on the road. Knicks look to continue to take their two-game winning streak riding into Toronto for a win. The game starts at 7:30 pm EST.
New York Knicks
For the last eight quarters, the Knicks have been playing quality basketball, and even overcoming shooting 43 percent from the field and a 27 turnover game against Cleveland Cavaliers, by producing a win. Julius Randle continues to put up all-star numbers, as he heads up into this next matchup. He put up his first triple-double as a Knick, and his seventh of his career (the previous one was in 2018). He almost has a quadruple-double with the nine turnovers, although he overcame that when it mattered, only having 3 in the last 2 quarters in Cleveland. It is something he needs to work on, especially now that he will be double-teamed often, as Cleveland did after his spectacular 1st quarter in that game (posting 14 points, five rebounds, and six assists).
Elfrid Payton, after coming off a great shooting night against Milwaukee Bucks (12 0f 16 shooting, three from downtown), shot only 40 percent from the field against Cleveland. He more than made up for it having eight rebounds and seven assists, to go along with his 14 points. Frank Ntilikina came in for him and did a solid job off the bench.
RJ Barrett continues to struggle from the field. As he hit all three three-point attempts in game one, he has been 0 for 13 from downtown since. But he continues to do the little thing and keeps in the flow of the game. As he improves his shooting, his game will elevate. On the plus side, he has been shooting 78 percent from the foul line for the season.
Going into Toronto
Knicks need for their defense to continue to step it up, as they look to take their two-game winning streak to three against Toronto. As a matter of fact, that’s what propelled them to go on this two-game winning streak. Toronto will have their main players in Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Fred VanVleet. Toronto has started their season winless at 0-3, therefore they will come with a must-win attitude. Their record is not an indication of how their team is capable of playing. With a lot of injured players, the Knicks need to play some of their best basketball to get a win.
As of December 30th:
Kevin Knox (Knee cap, game-time decision)
Dennis Smith Jr. (Quadriceps, Expected out at least until January 2nd)
Omari Spellman( Knee, Expected out at least until January 2nd)
Frank Ntilikina (Knee, Expected out at least until January 2nd)
Immanuel Quickley (Hip, game-time decision)
Alec Burks (Ankle, game-time decision)
Austin Rivers (Groin- game-time decision)
Obi Toppin (Calf- Expected out at least until January 6th).