Two of the most consistent teams of the 2020-21 NBA season, the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks will clash off on Friday night. Both teams will enter this tie on the back of their respective losses but have been in good touch otherwise.
The New York Knicks were outclassed by the Denver Nuggets away from home in their last encounter. This was only the Knicks’ second loss in 14 games, though. Led by the gritty Julius Randle, the Knicks currently have a 37-29 record and are the favorites to finish as the fourth seed in the East.
The Phoenix Suns ran out of gas on the second night of a back-to-back set on Wednesday, as the Atlanta Hawks brought an end to their five-game winning run. The Suns have a 47-19 record right now, and they’re just one game behind the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the Western Conference.
New York Knicks vs Phoenix Suns: Injury Report
New York Knicks
Rookie Immanuel Quickley hurt his left ankle against the Denver Nuggets and is listed as doubtful for tonight. Alec Burks aggravated his previous knee issue against the Nuggets and he’s also doubtful for the game against the Phoenix Suns.
Mitchell Robinson remains away from the team as he recovers after undergoing foot surgery. Robinson’s season is likely over, but he may return if the New York Knicks are able to go deep into the playoffs.
Sophomore Cameron Johnson has been playing through a wrist sprain of late. With the injury continuing to linger, Johnson has been listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the New York Knicks.
Jae Crowder and Abdel Nader are long-term absentees for the Phoenix Suns. Crowder has missed eight games with an ankle sprain while Nader underwent arthroscopic surgery to fix a knee injury.
New York Knicks vs Phoenix Suns: Predicted Lineups
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks’ starting lineup is unlikely to undergo any changes. Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock will form the starting backcourt while RJ Barrett will be the small forward. Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel will complete the frontcourt.
Derrick Rose is set to play extended minutes off the bench with Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks both likely to miss out. Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox may also get some playing time as a result. Taj Gibson will chip in as backup center.
The Phoenix Suns’ rotation will remain largely similar, too, with them chasing the first seed. Chris Paul and Devin Booker will be two starting guards, while Mikal Bridges will provide cover as the small forward. Torrey Craig and Deandre Ayton will round out the starting five.
If Cameron Johnson sits out, Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky will get extra playing time. Cameron Payne and Jevon Carter will also get involved in the proceedings off the bench.
New York Knicks vs Phoenix Suns: Predicted Starting 5s
New York Knicks
Point Guard – Elfrid Payton | Shooting Guard – Reggie Bullock | Small Forward – RJ Barrett | Power Forward – Julius Randle | Center – Nerlens Noel
Point Guard – Chris Paul | Shooting Guard – Devin Booker | Small Forward – Mikal Bridges | Power Forward – Torrey Craig | Center – Deandre Ayton