NYCSportsNation
Continued from the last piece in this series, of which you can find the first part here!

There’s been a new development in A.R.C.E. and instead of listing a starting five, there will now be a list of their five primary contributors. Going along with that, duplicates will be aggregated. See CLE and PHI this month as examples and as always, let’s take a deep breath before we go.


Game Two, Season Series vs. Chicago Bulls (CHI)

Questions:

  • There’s been a dark horse playoff feel to this team, explained in the October breakdown. What stopped them from looking better last season?
  • They had a quietly good off-season but does that undermine assets they have?

CHI A.R.C.E. primary contributors: SatoranskyLaVine, Porter Jr., YoungMarkkanen

NYK A.R.C.E. starting line-up: DSJ**, RJ, Morris, Randle, Robinson

**DSJ against ATL on Oct. 16th looked very rusty, but the 4th quarter play for him on the defensive end was better, but it was very very disappointing, could slide any point in, but Frank has looked best.**

Line-up Goals: Chicago has a lot of potentials, but they also had a bit of it last year as well. The main hold-up was themselves, in that they had a lot of injuries, unfortunately. How players rotate in and out depending on that and if they’re more durable will ultimately be the factor throughout the season series against CHI. Preseason hasn’t done any help for NYK’s offense a lot will rise and fall based on establishing the point hierarchy. In general, this series will be close to most games, barring injury. CHI has a higher offensive ceiling and despite Young, NYK has a higher defensive ceiling. These games will be fun, and competitive and a true toss-up who comes out ahead.

Prediction: Win (6-7)


Series Opener vs. Charlotte Hornets (CHA)

Questions (provided from a CHA fan in my life):

  • Can we (CHA) compete in any contest this season?
  • Can CHA reach the 70 loss mark or will they a new record?
  • CAN I (him) GET A HUG OR SOMETHING?! – Hug a CHA fan if you know one…

CHA A.R.C.E. primary contributors: Rozier, Bridges, Washington, Zeller, Batum

NYK A.R.C.E. starting line-up: DSJ, RJ, Morris, Randle, Robinson***

***On Oct 22nd, Robinson was diagnosed with a sprained ankle, if he’s not starting due to this Portis could start, or NYK could use its flexibility, highlighted here, with playing Randle at the five. Very good team to do this on, CHA lacks size.***

Line-up Goals: To keep this brief, they’ve got a lot of two things, draft picks playing starting minutes and overpaid vets. NYK fans can relate to both of those things for the better part of the past two decades. Keeping that in mind, right now NYK has better talent at every position and a much deeper team. There could be some deflation from playing DAL two days before, but if NYK is dropping games to CHA there’s going to be bigger problems than the individual office.

Prediction: Win (7-7)


Half-Series vs. Philadelphia 76ers (PHI)

Questions:

  • Will Ben Simmons shoot threes?
  • Can Embiid be healthy throughout the season (70+ games) and deal with the postseason grind?
  • Is their depth worth worrying about with the starters they have?

PHI A.R.C.E. primary contributors: Simmons, Embiid, Harris, Horford, Richardson

NYK A.R.C.E. starting line-up: DSJ, RJ, Morris, Randle, Robinson

Line-up Goals: This is actually a lot like CHA in the sense that, unless there are some unforeseen circumstances, the outcome should be rather obvious. They’ve got superior talent in all their starters for their roles, the only real “issue” PHI has is its depth. Their starters can mix and match with bench units to help buffer the drop-off and until I see it, all games in the season series against them are losses. They’re either the favorite or second to come out of the East and in title consideration across the board. Getting even one win, much like a loss or two against the hornets, will tell much more than the individual game.

Prediction: Two Losses (7-9)


Series Final vs. San Antonio Spurs (SAS)

Questions:

  • Is Murray full healthy and does that make him a break out candidate? Whether or not he’ll breakout needs to be seen, but SAS extending him shows where they stand on his health.
  • Will Aldridge at 34 begin to show more drastic signs of aging?
  • Is DeRozan able to maintain his health?

SAS A.R.C.E. primary contributors: Murray, DeRozan, Gay, Aldridge, and Poeltl

NYK A.R.C.E. starting line-up: Ntilikina, RJ, Morris, Randle, Robinson

Line-up Goals: Playing them at home, understanding RJ skills for what they are, he’ll likely start in the opener and that’s a game-changer. It could even have us possibly in a closer contest, but with how slighted they felt from Morris this offseason, they’ll be more than likely to be ready and prepared for both of these games against NYK. The opener is going to set the stage for this matchup and if the prediction stands (loss) MSG is going to want their fan favorite in Morris to feel the love. They’ll want him to come out strong and stay that way, possibly edging him on to be more and play above himself. Assuming his efficiency will come back to Earth, this could be the story of the game good or bad. It could flip from the opener and this game, but this game is also a big one for NYK as well. They have a slew of tough games starting in late November going through till the last week of January, this could be a “get me game” with a bunch of priority to put this home game away.

Prediction: Win (8-9)


Game Two, Season Series vs. Brooklyn Nets (BRK)

Questions:

  • What is their forward rotation, specifically at the four (PF) spot?
  • Outside of Kyrie, who is going to beat you?
  • How much of the time at center will be given to Jordan over Allen?

BRK A.R.C.E. primary contributors: Kyrie, HarrisLeVertKurucs?, Jordan

NYK A.R.C.E. starting line-up: Ntilikina, RJ, Morris, Randle, Robinson

Line-up Goals: Frustrate Kyrie… or try to. He’s the most talented in this series unless Randle in the regular season begins to be truly special. We’ve seen Ntilikina shut down many guards even if for a small period of time, but he creates an impact. He forces the offenses to figure out how to muffle NYK’s perimeter protector. He’s also going against one of the greatest individual creators playing right now. It would be naive to think BRK isn’t planning to make his game easier than the season opener, he’s going to be at the crux of the success or failure for BRK this year. Assuming the prediction stands, BRK will treat this as a must-win and with Kyrie’s offensive gifts, the game plan for him to steal the show.

Prediction: Loss (8-10)


Series Opener vs. Toronto Raptors (TOR)

Questions:

  • How does the season start for the Raptors?
  • Will Masai Ujiri be able to hold back from wanting to blow this team-up?
  • What is Pascal Siakam’s ceiling, has he reached his potential or can his game grow even further?

TOR A.R.C.E. primary contributors: Siakam, VanVleet, Lowry, Gasol, Ibaka

NYK A.R.C.E. starting line-up: DSJ, RJ, Morris, Randle, Robinson

Line-up Goals: How TOR comes out of the gate is going to determine not only this game but the entire season series against NYK or any team for that matter. Assuming the team stays as constructed, despite the lack of size at one and two, the rest of the team is really long. TOR has the potential to be top 10 in the NBA, maybe even top 5 or seven. VanVleet, if he can continue his fatherhood jump (Is this a thing, if not he might start it) and Siakam continues to excel and grow, the offense can be dynamic as well. Now all that being said, if they aren’t on the floor the offense visibly stagnates. Defensively they’re going to do well but again they suffer if Siakam isn’t being an all-around defender. There’s going to be a ton on Siakam’s shoulders but in the season opener, he scored a quietly scored 34 points. Now he’ll likely not average this but this signifies his offensive growth against another top 10 defensive team.

There could an argument for a repeat for the most improved player (MIP), of which he was awarded in 18-19′. Unless Masai is able to get what he wants, TOR length and the high defensive upside is going to throw any team into the fits. They have a solution to any potential problems from our better players, and enough cohesion to keep anyone in line.

Prediction: Loss (8-11)


The narrative of NYK has been removed or distorted to something unrecognizable to the average Knick’s fan. It’s a long season and in doing a more analyzed breakdown might change the A.R.C.E. win total prediction (35-47) a most 3 games in either direction.
Join the ride to either clarify or get closure on the nagging feeling that the team you love is being unfairly covered. Again, see the first part here.

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