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Knicks (38-25) @ Clippers (45-21)
At this point, I just want this road trip to end. I knew it would be a challenging test for the Knicks, but I did not think they’d go winless, losing by 29, 23, and 15 points in their last three games.
With the Knicks matched up against the Clippers today, things will only get worse before they get better. The Clippers will take advantage of an extremely depleted Knicks roster, their lack of transition defense, and run them out of the Staples Center. There’s no need to sugarcoat it, or expect the unexpected. Truth is, it’s going to be brutal and extremely unpleasant to watch.
Expect the Clippers to do what they do, getting off all types of SportsCenter Top 10 worthy lobs against the Knicks. The Blake Griffin-Chris Paul show will be on 10 today. And what’s worse is they’re not the Knicks only problems. Last time the Knicks and Clippers met, Jamal Crawford became a Knicks killer, torching them for 27 points on 12-of-22 shooting. Meanwhile, JR Smith had an uncharacteristic 6 points on 1-of-9 shooting. If the Knicks stand a chance today, they will need Smith to redeem himself, especially with Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony expected to sit this one out.
The injuries are tough to counter, but Mike Woodson has to adjust his game plan to suit the strengths of the guys that are available. And this is something he’s sucked at lately. Big time. Why he continues to be stubborn with Chris Copeland’s minutes is beyond me. Copeland is a liability on defense, but so is everyone else on the team. Woodson unfairly holds Copeland accountable for slacking on defense, but gives everyone else a pass. Without Melo and STAT, if given the chance, Copeland could become the team’s second best scoring option after JR Smith because of his ability to create his own shot.
I just wept a little bit as I typed that because it speaks to the sad, sad state of the Knicks. Is forfeiting an option?
No Melo. No STAT. No Chandler. No defense. No win. Knicks lose.
Knicks @ Jazz, 1030PM/ET on MSG