Atlantic

Walker, Knicks Face Timberwolves

Kemba Walker leads Knicks in matchup against Timberwolves.
New York Knicks, Kemba Walker (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The Knicks, led by New York native Kemba Walker will go on the road to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. New York is coming off a great Christmas win 101-87 against Atlanta. In comparison, the Timberwolves, in their last game, won against Boston 108-103.

Keys to Knicks Getting 2nd Straight Win

Involve Walker Early

Kemba Walker being back in the starting lineup is excellent for three reasons. Firstly, Walker being back has made Knicks fans very happy about something this season. Secondly, Walker brings a fun energy to the Knicks locker room. Lastly and most importantly, his scoring ability and making a play for others. Walker struggled on Christmas day, shooting 13% from the field. But he did get his teammates involved with 12 assists. Randle is not having a good season, but New York needs to get the ball out of his hands when struggling.

Another point to note is that Walker gets his teammates more involved, while Randle wants more isolation. New York is 1-0 when Walker records more than ten assists. So that means Walker must be involved early and often in the offensive game plan against the Timberwolves.

Play Defense

This key to the game will likely be a key for every game for the rest of the season. The Knicks have not held opponents under 100 points in consecutive games this season. New York is starting to get hot on offense, so why not get hot on defense and cause turnovers to get easy buckets. Minnesota is the fifth-worst team in the NBA, with 15.4 turnovers per game.

Ball Movement

New York, in some games, gets very stagnant, and some players barely even move during possession during the game. That has been a result of Julius Randle going to work on isolations. The Knicks are 12-6 when recording more than 20 assists. While they are 2-10 when having less than 20 assists as a team. What has been working is the pick-and-roll offense with Walker and Randle, then possibly getting the open shots from the outside. Move the ball and include everyone.

Injury Report

Knicks

PlayerStatus Injury
Danuel House JrDay-To-DayDislocated Finger
Jericho SimsQuestionableNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Kevin Knox IIOutNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Immanuel QuickleyQuestionableConditioning
Derrick RoseOut IndefinitelyRight Ankle
Nerlens NoelOutNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Miles McBrideDoubtfulNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols

Timberwolves

PlayersStatusInjury
Taurean PrinceQuestionableNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Anthony EdwardsQuestionableNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Naz ReidOut NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Josh Okogie Out Conditioning
Patrick BeverleyOut Conditioning
D’Angelo RussellOut NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
McKinley Wright IVOut NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Karl-Anthony TownsDoubtfulNBA’s Health and Safety Protocols
Jarred VanderbiltOut NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols

Game Prediction

With the Timberwolves possibly missing their big three of Edwards, Towns, and Russell, I don’t think they will be able to handle Walker and the Knicks. The Knicks will come out hot and take an early lead. Walker will bounce with a solid shooting with at least 20 points.

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