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Knicks at Nets - Game Preview

RJ Barrett and the Knicks are set to take on Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets tonight at 7:30pm EST on ESPN.


Photo By: Sarah Stier (Getty Images North America)


Game Information:

Matchup: Knicks (5-5) at Nets (4-7)

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY

Time: 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT

Watch: ESPN


Injury Report:

NYK:

Quentin Grimes - Questionable (sore foot)

Mitchell Robinson - Out (sprained knee)


BKN:

Kyrie Irving - Out (suspension)

T.J. Warren - Out (foot injury recovery)

Yuta Watanabe - Out (ankle sprain)

New York hopes to continue their excellent play from Monday. As they'll have a tall task tonight, as RJ Barrett and the Knicks take on Kevin Durant and the struggling Brooklyn Nets. As we all know by now, the Nets have come under heavy criticism and scrutiny in the last few weeks with the whole Kyrie Irving situation, the firing of Head Coach Steve Nash, and the disappointing play of Ben Simmons. So hopefully Tom Thibodeau can get the guys to kick the Nets while they're down.



Tonight's Knicks Storyline - Who Starts?

With Mitchell Robinson out with an injury and Evan Fournier struggling to hit shots, Tom Thibodeau and the coaching staff has experimented at both Shooting Guard and Center over the last few games. Against Minnesota on Monday, Cam Reddish and Jericho Sims got the starts at their respective positions. Then on Saturday vs. the Celtics, Isaiah Hartenstein filled in at Center.


In my opinion, I think Reddish should no doubt be the starter for at least the next few weeks. He's shown the consistency needed on both ends of the court to secure the starting spot. He fits nicely defensively in the backcourt alongside Brunson and Barrett. And has shot the 3 at a high clip (40.7%). Then at Center, I'd go with Isaiah Hartenstein until Robinson comes back. I love Jericho, and believe he should get the backup minutes while Mitch is out anyway. But Hart brings a different type of intensity that sometimes lacks in Julius Randle.


Who to Stop - Kevin Durant

It's no secret that Kevin Durant is one of the best scorers in The Association. This season, the Slim Reaper has taken it to a whole new level offensively. He's been getting to his spots with more ease than ever, even with a lackluster offensive supporting cast. With his sidekick Kyrie Irving out, Durant has averaged 27.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 5.7 APG in 3 games. In losses, Durant has only scored less than 30 twice this season. Hell, it's not even about "stopping" him. It's about containing him.



Key of the Game - Get Hot Early

Well we saw what happened when the Knicks get hot early. When guys like Brunson and Barrett get it going in the 1st Quarter and 1st half, the ball just bounces around a lot quicker and the energy is alive. We all saw it on Monday against Minnesota. But we also saw what happens when they start off cold, like in Cleveland a few weeks ago. It's a lot harder to climb out of a hole. Now this doesn't mean they can just coast to a victory, because like Atlanta, the Nets can get hot at anytime from 3 and instantly close a deficit.

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