After a frustrating week, can The NY Knicks bounce back?

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NY Knicks
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NY Knicks: The Week Ahead

Four games slated this week for New York, including two on the road before returning to the Garden. Tough opposition all around – It will be another testing week for the squad. Let’s take a glimpse at the schedule:

Note: all stats below were sourced from

4/5 – NY Knicks vs. Brooklyn @ the Barclays Center

Stat check:

  • 1st place in the East (34-16)
  • 1st in offensive rating (117.2) and 25th in defensive rating (113.2)
  • 4th in 3P% (39.2% on 14.3 made threes per game)

Who’s out?

Kevin Durant hasn’t played since Feb 13 with a strained hamstring – he is due to return soon – Coach Steve Nash said he would be an “outside chance” to return vs New York.

UPDATE: Kevin Durant has been ruled out.

James Harden missed their last game with a hamstring complaint but will suit up for The Nets. It’s the second night of a back-to-back for the Nets, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the recent signings, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge, were to sit out as they manage their minutes.

Who are some other players to watch?

Kyrie Irving – averages 24.9 points and 5.9 assists in 25 games versus the Knicks in his career – per Statmuse. Joe Harris has been one of the league’s premier sharpshooters, he’s third in the league in 3P% at 48.2%.

4/7  – NY Knicks vs. Boston @ the TD Garden

Stat check:

  • 8th place in the East (25-25)
  • 12th in offensive rating (113.1) and 22nd in defensive rating (112.0)
  • 11th in 3P% (37.4% on 13 made threes per game)

Tristian Thompson will be out of this game due to covid protocols. Jayson Tatum has continued to be excellent, averaging 25.2 points per game on 45% FG and 38% from 3.

Evan Fournier, who was recently acquired from Orlando, has been coming off the bench in his first 3 games with the team. He has averaged 9.7 points across three games with The Celtics. The Knicks had an interest in him at the deadline but ultimately balked at the asking price (2 second-round picks).

4/9 – NY Knicks vs. Memphis @ Madison Square Garden

Stat check:

  • 8th place in the West (24-23)
  • 18th in offensive rating (110.2) and 7th in defensive rating (109.2)
  • 21st in 3P% (35.3% on 10.7 made threes per game)

Who’s out?

Jaren Jackson Jr – Knee – yet to play this season – due to return later this month. Justice Winslow has been bothered by a quad injury and is listed out as of Sunday with no timetable provided for a return yet.

The Knicks will have to deal with Ja Morant, #2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. On the season Ja averages 19.0 points and 7.5 assists. He struggles from range, however, shooting just 25.4% from three. Desmond Bane, the 30th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has been very solid as a rookie. Bane is currently 9th in the league in 3P% at 45%.

4/11 – NY Knicks vs. Toronto @ Madison Square Garden

Stat check:

  • 11th place in the East (19-30)
  • 13th in offensive rating (112.5) and 21st in defensive rating (112.0)
  • 10th in 3P% (37.5% on 15.3 made threes per game)

Kyle Lowry has missed the last week or so with a foot injury and as of March 31st was expected to miss at least 7-10 days. Fred VanVleet has put up nice stats (19.8 ppg and 6.1 assists) after a big contract extension in the offseason. VanVleet scored a career-high 54 points against Orlando earlier this year – The Knicks might try something The Magic didn’t – defense.

The Raptors have a new face as well: Gary Trent Jr/ Recently acquired in the Norman Powell trade with Portland, Trent Jr is a shooter – he takes 7.4 threes a game and makes 40% of them.

So that’s all from this week. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for New York with 4 tough games ahead after a frustrating week has gone. They finished on a high with the demolition job on the Pistons, can they keep that momentum going? Two big away games vs conference rivals Brooklyn and Boston will be must-watch basketball.

Knicks Draft: 4 Gonzaga prospects to watch. dark. Next