The New York Knicks will travel to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, to take on a youthful Orlando Magic team on Friday in the 2021-22 NBA. The Knicks outlasted the Boston Celtics in a wild, double-overtime classic at MSG in their season opener.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic are still smarting from their loss to another young team, the San Antonio Spurs, in their first game of the season.
Tom Thibodeau’s retooled and improved roster is expected to make noise in the battle for playoff spots in the East. The New York Knicks will rely on their bruising All-Star Julius Randle, who impressed in their season opener, to lead the team once again.
Meanwhile, Jamashi Mosley’s Orlando Magic could use this season as a learning experience as they build a new identity and culture in Orlando. Their frontline of Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr. played solid minutes against the Spurs. However, New York’s frontcourt is a different beast, with Mitchell Robinson and Obi Toppin showing improvements.
Considering the same, the Magic could have another tough night, especially after what the New York Knicks produced in their season opener.
New York Knicks Injury Report
The same players who missing their season oepener are also the ones listed in their injury report for this game. Taj Gibson is attending to his family after becoming a new father, and is questionable to play. Meanwhile, Nerlens Noel is still recovering from left knee soreness, and has been ruled out.
Luka Samanic, who was waived by the Spurs and is on the Knicks’ roster on a two-way contract, will be assigned to the G-League for further development.
Orlando Magic Injury Report
The Orlando Magic’s injury list is a lengthy one. Gary Harris, who felt tightness in his right hamstring before the last game, remains out of this one too. The other names on this list have been injured for a while, and are out of this match.
New York Knicks vs Orlando Magic: Predicted Lineups
New York Knicks
Tom Thibodeau should roll out the same starting unit that did a tremendous job against the Boston Celtics in the previous game. He will likely start new recruits Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier at the point guard and shooting guard spots, respectively. Fournier had an incredible debut for the New York Knicks, making crucial baskets, and was an ever-present threat from the outside.
RJ Barrett, who also had an incredible game at both ends of the floor, will look to build on that impressive start. He should take up his usual small forward position. Meanwhile, the franchise’s beast of a player, Julius Randle, will continue handling his customary role as a power forward extraordinaire for the Knicks. Emerging center Mitchell Robinson should protect the rim for the team.
Cole Anthony is penciled in to start at point guard, as he was designated as the playmaker for much of training camp and preseason because of Markelle Fultz’s injury. Jalen Suggs, who had a rough debut against the Spurs, is expecting to do better this time around at the shooting guard position.
The Orlando Magic’s young brigade should feature rookie Franz Wagner in the small forward position. Wendell Carter Jr. at power forward, will have the unenviable task of putting the clamps on Julius Randle for much of the night.
Mo Bamba should offer help from the center spot. His long-range shooting could draw out Mitchell Robinson for Suggs and Anthony to exploit.
New York Knicks vs Orlando Magic: Predicted Starting 5s
New York Knicks
Point Guard – Kemba Walker | Shooting Guard – Evan Fournier | Small Forward – RJ Barrett | Power Forward – Julius Randle | Center – Mitchell Robinson.
Point Guard – Cole Anthony | Shooting Guard – Jalen Suggs | Small Forward – Franz Wagner | Power Forward – Wendell Carter Jr. | Center – Mo Bamba.