The Knicks Win Four Straight, Prepare for Playoffs Against Timberwolves
Knick’s Objectives in Their Final Stretch
The New York Knicks (42-30) remain home at Madison Square Garden to host the Minnesota Timberwolves (35-37). The Knicks are currently in the fifth slot in the Eastern Conference standings and are currently on a four-game winning streak. The last time these two teams played was all the way back in November, when the Knicks were victorious, 120 to 107, on November 7th.
As we’re rounding the final stretch of the season, the Knicks have very clear objectives: lock in the fifth seed. The Cleveland Cavaliers came out rumored to want to play the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, which may say more about who they don’t want to face (New York). The Knicks have a solid group of two-way players, and with the return of Mitchell Robinson, a true crown in the backend of their defense. To be clear, this is a team that no one wants to face in the first round.
The Wolves: Regrets and Hopes
The Minnesota Timberwolves were the talk of the offseason with the Rudy Gobert trade. The move was made with the idea of a good team taking a nice step forward and adding an elite player to continue the vibes. So far, the Wolves have regretted that move and sit ninth in the Western Conference. They aren’t much, if at all, better and their cap space and future assets are up in the air.
Flipping D’Angelo Russell for Mike Conley in a three-deal has helped turn things around, but the injury to Karl-Anthony Towns hurts and has hurt their offense for the majority of the season. Anthony Edwards (24.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists) is now both critical to this team’s present and future. Rudy Gobert (13.8 points, 11.5 rebounds) and Jaden McDaniels (12.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 39.2% 3FG) are other players to watch tonight.
The Wolves lack depth, with guys like Jaylen Nowell, Naz Reid, Taurean Prince, and Austin Rivers manning their bench rotation. It’s a far cry from the days of Patrick Beverley and Jared Vanderbilt. They could still make the playoffs, and having Edwards gives them a chance to thrive long-term, but the Wolves have come up short all season.
Players to Watch Out For
Is Anthony Edwards playing: On Saturday night, Anthony Edwards was in a walking boot. Sunday morning? Edwards was out of the boot. It’s tough to tell if he’s going to play against the Knicks.
Quentin Grimes: In the last game against Denver, Grimes got his typical minutes as a starter, but with Josh Hart playing well, Grimes didn’t see the floor much outside of the eight-minute stretches in the first and second halves. Against the Wolves, Grimes has a chance to attack Minnesota with his defense and floor spacing. It would be great to see Grimes get aggressive, and force Tom Thibdeau to play him more.
Bench Success Important for Playoffs
More Bench Success: Thibodeau needs to keep the bench hot for the playoffs. Against Denver, the they shined with Josh Hart stealing the show, and Immanuel Quickley, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Obi Toppin giving New York valuable minutes. If the Knicks want to keep the momentum, a strong performance from the bench would go a long way.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
About the Writer
Writer for The Knicks Wall. Word on road, is the clique about to blow.