The Knicks face massive week ahead

 

With a record of 25-25, the New York Knicks are in a shaky position. Although they hold the seventh seed, they’re just a couple of games away from being knocked out of a playoff position. This week, they face four opponents who will give them big problems. Games against Brooklyn, Boston, Memphis, and Toronto await them. 

Knicks vs Nets

Likely the most daunting matchup of the week is also the Knicks’ first. They head to Brooklyn for a rematch of the previous game between these two from just under a month ago. Previously, the game was evenly split as the game went to do the last possession. New York lost in heartbreaking fashion as Julius Randle was blocked on his final shot. Now, the New York Knicks will be playing with anger as they attempt to avoid being swept by their city rivals. Despite having a much worse record than the Nets, the Knicks always play with extra motivation to retain their throne as “Kings of the City”.

A potential matchup to watch is between Elfrid Payton and Kyrie Irving. Although his offense has been questionable as of late, Payton is still a strong defender and may not have too much difficulty guarding the flashy point guard. The two guards will be going at it all game long and should keep each other to a relatively low-scoring game.

Prediction:

The Knicks should come out on top. They didn’t have a very tiring game last time out against the Pistons and should be well-rested. On the other side of New York City, Brooklyn is coming off of a tiring and frustrating loss to the Bulls. The New York Knicks have what it takes to win and should manage to just edge out their opponents.

The game tips off at 7:00 PM EST in Brooklyn tonight.

Knicks vs Celtics

This will be another entertaining matchup for all fans. New York takes on Boston in what is one of the strongest rivalries in the East. The Celtics have struggled this season and are now eighth in the East, with the same record as the Knicks. These two match up really well and could offer a great night of basketball. Last time out, the Knickerbockers throttled the C’s as they won 105-75 and held them to a staggering 35 first-half points. However, Boston has started to get things together and could give the New York Knicks real problems. 

A potential matchup to watch is between RJ Barrett and Jayson Tatum. Both have had a strong season, although RJ Barrett has undoubtedly met higher expectations. Barrett’s strong defense will be fascinating to watch against the athletic forward. 

Prediction:

Once again, the Knicks should manage to steal a win. Although in one-on-one matchups the Celtics’ starters are stronger than New York, the Knicks have an opportunity to win the game if they play their cards right. The Celtics have little depth off of the bench with Tristan Thompson out. If the Knicks can capitalize on this and ensure their own bench players can perform well, they can carve out a big lead. The orange and blue should manage to once again just get by this Celtics side.

The game begins at 7:30 PM EST on Wednesday, April the seventh.

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Knicks vs Grizzlies

This may be the biggest wildcard of this week’s matchups for the Knicks. They face a slowly improving Grizzlies team that has managed to climb to the eighth seed in the West. Ja Morant has dragged them into a playoff spot and has given problems to all the opposition he’s faced. If New York manages to keep him quiet, they’ll cruise through this one easily. However, nothing can be guaranteed if they give no answers to the explosive point guard’s dangerous offense.

A matchup to watch is between Jonas Valanciunas and Taj Gibson. These two strong centers will be going at it all night and could be the deciding factor in this game. Valanciunas has averaged 16 points this season as the second-leading scorer in Tennessee this season. 

Prediction:

Memphis could manage to find a win in this one. The Knicks always seem to struggle against these mid-to-high table Western Conference teams. Memphis is slowly becoming dominant and could capitalize off of the Knicks’ congested schedule. 

The game tips off at 7:30 PM EST on Friday, April ninth.

Knicks vs Raptors

This game should cause the least worry for Knicks fans. The Raptors are fighting to stay alive in the East and have sunk to a record of 19-30. They’re at an all-time low and are desperate for change; whether through a rebuild, or in the form of a new star player. Nobody has managed to keep Toronto competitive this year which has caused them to struggle. Although last time out they made a mockery of New York, the same result shouldn’t follow as the New York Knicks have slowly improved this season. 

A matchup to watch is between Julius Randle and Pascal Siakam. They’ve both led the scoring for their respective sides and average a similar amount of points. These two power forwards will each have little difficulty in racking up points however will struggle on the defensive end. It should be high-scoring between the two and will offer an entertaining game. 

Prediction:

New York should finish off the week with a win. They’re facing a less-than-scary Raptors team who aren’t what they were in recent seasons. Julius Randle should have a routine strong game and the Knicks should take advantage of this golden opportunity for an important win. 

The game will begin at 8:00 PM EST on Sunday, April 11. 

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