Fresh off their second straight loss, the Knicks travel to rainy Los Angeles to take on the rolling Clippers.
After a 9-game win streak that had broadened their horizons, the New York Knicks (39-28) are currently reeling after two straight losses heading into their match-up against the Clippers (35-33). To add insult to injury, on top of suffering a loss in their last game the Knicks will once again be missing starting point guard Jalen Brunson, who reaggravated the same foot injury that held him out a couple of games prior to Thursday’s game after playing just the first half versus the Sacramento Kings. New York was also dealt another blow to their front depth with backup center Isaiah Hartenstein being listed as probable for Saturday’s tilt in LA.
The Knicks will need Immanuel Quickley to step up in this game and possibly the next couple of games as well while the Knicks reevaluate Brunson‘s condition. After a stellar month of basketball and being a catalyst in New York’s recent success, the Sixth Man of the Year candidate has struggled lately, shooting a combined 6-27 in the last two games. If the Knicks are going to have a successful west coast road trip, Quickley will have to regain his composure versus the somewhat underwhelming Clippers. He will serve as the starting point guard in Burnson’s absence.
Quickley has not been the only one effected by shooting woes, however; the Knicks as a team have shot poorly from three-point range. In their last two games (losses) the Knicks have attempted 90 three-pointers and only converted 24 of them, shooting an abysmal 26.7%. Julius Randle has been one of the main culprits, accounting for 20 of those attempts only connecting on four of them.
While the Clippers aren’t exactly having the season they had hoped for to this point, they are currently riding a two-game win streak and have leapfrogged the Dallas Mavericks to take sole possession of the fifth seed in the Western Conference. They are prime to stay hot versus a battered and now struggling Knicks team. There will be no load management for these Clippers, they will be at full strength led by their elite two-way duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The short-handed Knicks will certainly have their hands full in the matinee in LA.
The last time these teams faced off, it was a heavy-weight bout at the Garden where the Clippers bested the Knicks 134-128. New York will be looking to get revenge as one of the better road teams in the NBA with a record of 20-13 away from home. The Clippers are just 14-23 versus teams above .500. This will be the final time these teams see each other in the regular season.
Tip-off is 4:00pm eastern.
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»Read: Immanuel Quickley is a Worthy Sixth Man of The Year
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