The Knicks head to Memphis on Sunday night, shooting to string together three wins in a row.
After two big wins against formidable opponents, the Knicks are beginning to put together a nice little run on the backs of their young players. Following a tight win against the Celtics, New York was able to rally back against the Pelicans on Friday after trailing by as much as nine in the fourth quarter and picked up their second win in a row.
Tonight, we’ll see New York head to Memphis to match up with the Grizzlies, who are currently 12-6 and sitting at second place in the Western Conference. A win tonight would be huge for the young Knickerbockers, as it would mark up three consecutive wins against playoffs teams.
After leading a broken-down Grizzlies team to the playoffs in 2016, David Fizdale was fired the following season. Although a slow start to the 2017 season could have been partly to blame, the main reason was rumored to have been Fizdale’s sour relationship with franchise player Marc Gasol. After a series of incidents, including the benching of Gasol for an entire fourth quarter, the relationship between coach and player was fractured. The Memphis front office simply sided with the player they’d built their team around over the years. Thanks to the drama that unfolded following Memphis’ firing of Fizdale, much of the media spectacle leading up to tonight is focusing on the “revenge” aspect of the game. While there might be some bad blood between members of each team, it looks like it’s nothing major.
After being asked about it on Saturday, Gasol told reporters, “Yeah, we spoke about it and we let each other know how we felt and moved on.” As for Coach Fizdale, he was focused on his current situation when asked about his ending with the Grizzlies, saying “I ended up becoming the head coach of the New York Knicks.. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity”.
With all that being said, I hope Marc Gasol gets blocked every time he shoots tonight.
Mudiay and Trier
Helping lead the way to a Knicks win on Friday were two young guards, Emmanuel Mudiay and Allonzo Trier. Since being named a starter, Mudiay’s game has seen a few highs and lows, but against the Pelicans, he played to his full potential. The former Nuggets point guard was crafty in driving to the basket, creating shots, and getting to the line, especially in the clutch. Mudiay finished with 27 points, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter.
As for the other guard, Iso Zo dropped a career-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting against New Orleans, adding eight rebounds for good measure. Trier, while he didn’t start, played a majority of the game and was key in closing out the Pelicans.
With career games behind them, we’ll be watching to see if Mudiay and Trier can keep up their hot streaks tonight against the Grizzlies.
- Courtney Lee, who has been out since preseason with a neck injury, has finally been cleared for full participation in practice.
- Since Tuesday, Mario Hezonja has scored two, three, and two in his only three games as a starter. Could Fiz look to shift the starting lineup once again?