The New York Knicks will be taking on the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors tonight without their best player and their backup center.
Any chance the New York Knicks had at knocking off the Golden State Warriors just went from bad to worse. Going into Oracle Arena is no small task, even with a lineup operating at full strength. Unfortunately, the Knicks frontcourt is going to be significantly undermanned. According to the Knicks PR Department, Kristaps Porzingis (left knee irritation) and Kyle O’Quinn (contused left calf) will be sidelined Tuesday night.
Kristaps Porzingis (left knee irritation) and Kyle O’Quinn (contused left calf) are out tonight.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 23, 2018
This news is coming in the midst of a seven-game road trip where the team is likely experiencing some fatigue. Having two key contributors going down puts the Knicks in a seemingly impossible position. The potential All-Star, Porzingis, is the stud and the Knicks will miss his elite rim protection, but O’Quinn’s injury should not go unnoticed. KOQ provides valuable defensive energy off the bench that will surely be missed against the high powered Warriors.
The Knicks will tell you that they are fighting for a playoff spot and that losing KP for an extended period of time would be devastating to their playoff chances. A win tonight look like it will take a herculean effort, but more importantly, the hope is that this injury doesn’t linger.
Knicks fan could see two of the forgotten players on this roster: Willy Hernangomez and Joakim Noah. Hernangomez has been buried on the bench after being selected for the NBA All-Rookie team last season and Noah has played even less than his Spanish counterpart. Noah has only played in six games this season and has only played 10-plus minutes once. The Knicks $72 million signing should get some time to prove his worth.
Luckily for Dubs fans, they will get to see an offensive talent the likes of which they have never seen. Ok, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but Michael Beasley usually steps up to the task when Porzingis is sidelined. The Walking Bucket has eclipsed 20 points in four of those games and twice he put up 30. Someone will need to help shoulder the scoring load without the focal point of the offense and Beasley is their best hope.
The lineup will be significantly weakened in Oracle and it will take a truly special effort from someone unexpected for the Knicks to pull off the major upset. This could be a long game for New York fans.