Draymond Green Slams Knicks’ Playoff Chances: ‘Who’s Going to Stop Joel?’

Fresh off of a season-ending loss for the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green is shooting down the New York Knicks‘ playoff hopes, as he returns to full-time podcasting.

Ahead of the first-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers, Green emphatically said he’s taking the underdog, in an April 19 episode of his podcast, “The Draymond Green Show.”

“Paul Reed said it. I ain’t say it. But the reality is this, we know the reality. The New York Knicks are way easier to beat than the Boston Celtics,” Green told listeners. “In fact, I got the Philadelphia 76ers beating the New York Knicks. Because who’s going to stop Joel?”

Green is referencing backup center Paul Reed‘s comments on an April 18 episode of “Run It Back” on Fanduel TV. He told hosts of the show that Phildelphia considers New York an easier out than the Boston Celtics.

“I mean, I feel like we ain’t ducking no smoke,” Reed said. “But yeah, we wanted the Knicks matchup. Of course, that’s the easier team, I guess. But it’s gonna be fun. We match up pretty well with them. They got a great guard, we got a great guard. We also got Joel, you know, MVP.”

Knicks’ starters Isaiah Hartenstein and Josh Hart strongly disagree.

Knicks Respond to Paul Reed

After a team practice on April 18, Hartenstein was asked about Reed’s comments.

“That’s his thoughts at the end of the day,” Hartenstein told SNY. “We’re focused on what we gotta do. I think that’s what podcasts do, they make sure they get you comfortable and then people just say (expletive). At the end of the day, we’re focused on us – whatever comments they have, they have. We’re focused on our team. Getting better every day.”

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Fans should be happy to hear Hartenstein’s focus. He’ll play quite possibly the biggest role in their series against Philadelphia.

As the Knicks’ starting center, he’ll be matched up with Joel Embiid more than anyone else.

How he handles the assignment on defense, and how much he can get past Embiid, whether via playmaking or shotmaking, could determine the series. And the numbers back Hartenstein.

In one matchup against Embiid this season, he held the reigning MVP to 9-of-21 shooting from the floor and forced 5 turnovers.

On the flip side, Hartenstein connected on 5 of his 6 field goal attempts, and didn’t turn the ball over once, when defended by the seven-time All-Star. Advantage, Knicks.

Hart had a response for Reed too, after a team practice on April 19.

“I don’t give a (expletive) about what he said,” Hart told reporters. “I could really care less. I don’t care.”

Hart, too, will play a big role against the 76ers.

New York will be relying on him to continue being one of the league’s best six foot, four inch rebounders in the game.

In four games against Philadelphia this season, Hart averaged 14.3 rebounds.

The only team he averaged more against is the Golden State Warriors, with 14.5.

So to answer Green’s question; Hart will help to stop Embiid on the glass, and Hartenstein has proven he can stop him one-on-one.

As for the rest of the roster…

Bogdanovic Listed as ‘Potential X-Factor’

In an April 18 column for Yahoo Sports, insider Jake Fischer listed seven potential difference makers come playoffs.

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Midseason acquisition Bojan Bogdanovic makes the list.

Fischer wrote “…the scoring and playmaking of Bogdanović might be as necessary an element for New York’s success in these playoffs, helping to uplift the Knicks’ offense whenever All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson heads to the bench.”

But he also made sure to mention those minutes won’t be frequent.

“Those minutes will be few and far between,” Fischer continued. “Perhaps Brunson plays every minute for Tom Thibodeau’s latest postseason push.”

According to Cleaning the Glass, New York played 2,213 possessions with Jalen Brunson off the floor this season. They were outscored by 5.4 points per 100 possessions.

In 1,697 possessions with both Brunson and the sidelined Julius Randle off, that number increases to 7.9 points.

And if you trim those possessions to include Bogdanovic on the floor, the number spikes to 17.4 points in 698 possessions.

Bogdanovic, when and if he’s left on the floor without Brunson, is going to have to do something different than he did in the regular season.

Expect the opportunities to be reserved for emergency use under head coach Tom Thibodeau.

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