Jake Brown Previews Knicks Opening Night 2017

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Jake Brown of ‘Jake Brown Radio’ wears a lot of hats. Aside from his podcast duties, he is also one of the newest Knicks writers for the SNY’s family of blogs. Brown shared his thoughts about the 2017 Knicks opening night matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. We’ve collaborated with Brown in the past and he is fellow Mets fans and Queens resident. Make sure to read Brown’s posts about the 2017 Knicks throughout the season. He’s got a unique sports perspective.

KP vs. Melo

The end of the Knicks’ 2016-17 season was also the end of the Carmelo Anthony era at the Garden. Coincidentally, the Knicks face off tonight against Melo’s new team in their 2017 home opener. Kristoff Porzingis is now the main guy in New York and will face off against the Big 3 of MVP Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. We’d love to be optimistic about the matchup and the season. But New York’s core of KP, returning SG Tim Hardaway Jr., and rookie PG Frank Ntilikina is going to have a hard time against the Thunder. The Thunder can score, defend, and is coached well by Billy Donovan.

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Enes Kanter vs The Thunder

One of the newest Knicks, center Enes Kanter will face off against his former team. Brown notes, “Kanter will play his former team and go up against his old pal, Steven Adams. With Porzingis taking on Melo, Kanter is going to be important for the Knicks on the glass. We know Kanter can score in bunches, but the Knicks need him to stay out of foul trouble and put up double-doubles.”

Our impression of Kanter has been mixed. He has shown an ability to score, but for a player his size, he doesn’t defend the rim well. It was one of the reasons that Kanter was a bench player with the Thunder. He couldn’t unseat Steven Adams, even though OKC was desperate for an additional scorer last season. From what we’ve seen from the Knicks in the pre-season, Kanter has a long way to go on the defensive end of the floor. Kanter needs to improve.

Ntilikina vs Westbrook

Brown writes, “Rookie Frank Ntilikina did not play much in the preseason due to injuries. He gets the joy of opening the season covering the defending NBA MVP and triple-double machine Russell Westbrook,” wrote Brown. “It doesn’t get any tougher for Ntilikina to get his NBA career going. Although Ntilikina may come off the bench, he’ll likely see Westbrook at points of this game.”

F&TS does not have a lot of faith in the 19-year old PG from France. Plus, he’s only played in two games during the preseason. As a reminder and a storyline that will play out throughout the year, the Knicks passed on explosive PG from North Carolina State Dennis Smith Jr. for Frank Ntilikina. We will be watching. Enjoy Knicks opening night 2017.