Nuggets vs Knicks:
"Omicron meets schedule-loss"
Tonight's contest promises to be be a wild & wacky one, not just with the health concerns for the Nuggets and their coaching staff, in the first game at home following a long road trip, but in facing the rudderless Knicks, following their players-only meeting in Utah, who are playing tonight on a on a road b2b in the Mile High City. I don't like it one bit.
The Knicks are, for all intents and purposes, a three-man team, with Randle/Brunson/Barrett each playing between two and three FULL minutes per game more than anyone on the vastly-superior Nuggets squad. The off-season acquisition of Jalen Brunson was questionable at best (decent player; horrendous timing and contract), and symptomatic of a franchise that has been reeling ever since the retirement of Patrick Ewing, decades ago.
Denver has been without Bones Hyland (COVID) and will be tonight without the two-time/reigning MVP for the same reason, and they have tertiary content creation to blame for it. Combined, these two chaps have had COVID no fewer than 33 times in the last three years.
AG is also questionable with a non-COVID illness, but as we've seen before, those often transition swiftly into health & safety protocol. Bones has been upgraded twice since last night; first from out to doubtful, then from doubtful to questionable, so it seems likely that he'll be returning to action for this one.
Given that it's probable that Jeff Green and DeAndre Jordan start for the good guys, that Bones has rust to shake off and that newly recalled beleaguered G-Leaguers Peyton Watson/Jack White are forced into action, it is incredibly difficult to make any predictions. I do predict that Nnaji will finally get a chance to unseat the largely-ineffective Jordan tonight, so that's definitely something to watch for. How Jamal/MPJ step up in the absence of MVP is obviously the primary determinant, however.
I'm basing my prediction for tonight's outcome solely on the following graphic:
As you can see, in November, the Knicks win every other game and vise versa, so on this night, the Nuggets prevail, by a final score of 123-115. #Science