The Knicks cross the Atlantic to play a special international edition game of hoops at the O2 arena in London against the Wizards.
Eurotrip! The Knicks are in London for a match against the Bradley Beal–led Washington Wizards.
Since John Wall’s injury, things have not been nearly as gloomy in D.C. The Wizards are 5-4 in the first nine games without their $207 million man, but their quality of play has vastly improved.
Things in New York have been as they have all season: a season littered with growing pains and a lot of losses. In their last game before the London trip, David Fizdale’s young ‘Bockers put on what some in the biz would call a “good” loss. The good was Kevin Knox reaching a career-high 31 points, Frank asserting himself, and Luke Kornet setting up shop in Joel Embiid’s head.
Today, Kornet should look forward to some major minutes once again, with Enes Kanter missing the trip thanks to friction with his mother country. Frank Ntilikina returns to his native continent hoping to build off a promising Sunday return.
Set your clocks to 3:00 p.m. ET and enjoy some afternoon basketball. But before you leave, here are some things to watch.
I have a theory that is about to get put to the test t0day. Stay with me, because it is either insanely stupid or genius.
Frank’s body clock has still not adjusted to the New York time zone—it’s still running on France time.
How did I arrive at such a ludicrous conclusion? He seems to play better during matinees, which in France (and London) is around 8:00 p.m. Using this theory, I believe Frank’s body is playing professional basketball while his body thinks it is 1:00 a.m.
Now to get serious. Frank’s outing versus the Sixers opened some eyes. He was attacking the rim which opened up the floor. With Emmanuel Mudiay struggling, Frank’s could soon return to the starting lineup. A strong showing in front of familiar faces—the Ntilikina family will be out full force—could accomplish just that.
It was only a matter of time for Noah Vonleh. He has surpassed every expectation this season, with others taking notice.
According to the Daily News‘ Stefan Bondy, the Sixers have expressed interest in Vonleh. That does not automatically mean Vonleh is a goner; the rumored Kanter to Sacramento deal fell apart as quickly as it hit Twitter. But there is no doubt eyes are on Vonleh.
Spotlight: Kevin Knox
Kevin Knox may have to handle primary scoring duties once again, as Tim Hardaway Jr. is still nursing a hamstring injury. If Timmy is unable to go, Knox will have to carry the scoring load. On Sunday, the additional responsibility resulted in the best game of the rookie’s career.
He became just the sixth youngest player to score 30 or more points in a game (joining Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and fellow rookie Jaren Jackson Jr.). He took the fight to Ben Simmons all day, utilizing every trick in his bag. It was the type of performance that makes fans salivate for Kristaps Porzingis to return. Because when he does, he has a new partner in crime.
Today, Knox will likely draw the tough matchup of Trevor Ariza. Unlike Simmons, who is an elite talent but not the best defender, Ariza is a professional defender by trade. Knox will have to dig deep into his bag again if he wants a repeat performance.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. (hamstring) and Mitchell Robinson (groin) remain questionable.
Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. ET on MSG.
UPDATE: 10:54 a.m. ET.
Robinson is a go for the London game, per Steve Popper of Newsday.