Pre-Game News and Notes
The Knicks will look to get the second half of the season off to a better start than the first half went against the 76ers at
Wednesday night. This game will be the third on the Knicks eight game home
stand, which has been a disaster thus far. The Knicks have suffered blowout
losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets at home, in addition to
rough losses in Charlotte and Indiana previously. The 76ers are in almost as bad of shape as
the Knicks this season, making for what could be an ugly contest between the
two Atlantic Division rivals. Here are some things to look for in the game
-Player News and Notes
Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin will both miss their third consecutive games. The Knicks have been terrible in the two games without the power forwards as they had been catalysts in the Knicks turnaround on the Texas Triangle trip. The Knicks have received some good news on the injury front though as Metta World Peace is hoping to return to the lineup tonight.
For the 76ers, backup guard Tony Wroten will most likely miss his second consecutive game because of an ankle injury.
-What Knicks Will Show Tonight
Throughout the season, no matter how tumultuous it had gotten, the players in the Knicks locker room always stood behind head coach Mike Woodson. A nine-game losing streak put Woodson directly on the hot seat earlier in the season but the Knicks responded well enough to keep his job. This time around it might not end as well.
After the loss to the Nets Monday afternoon some players made some discouraging comments about Woodson. Tyson Chandler voiced his frustration about the Knick’s defensive schemes, calling out the constant switching that the Knicks do. Carmelo Anthony said the Knicks showed no fight and questioned the Knicks scheming, saying they were out coached by rookie head coach Jason Kidd.
How the Knicks respond tonight may be an indication of how things will go the remainder of the season and what the future holds for Woodson.
Chandler and Anthony are
looked at as the leaders of the team so if they continue voicing displeasure
with things going on there will be changes made.
-What Lineup Gets the Call?
On Monday Woodson went with the small lineup, starting Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni in the backcourt with Iman Shumpert, Anthony and
Chandler in the front court. It
didn’t result in positive results but last season that is the lineup that
sparked the Knicks and ended up with the best results.
Against the 76ers there is a chance they could go with the small lineup again. The 76ers present match ups the Knicks can go up against with their small lineup with Thaddeus Young and James Anderson as the starting forwards. Will Woodson stick with the lineup that gave him the most success last season, or will he continue to try and force the big lineup out there and have mixed results?
-Match up of the Game: Raymond Felton vs. Michael Carter-Williams
When the Knicks are at their best, Felton is playing well; in games that he shoots over 40 percent in the Knicks are 7-4, but when he shoots under 40 they are 3-9. The Knicks guard play has been as big a problem this season for them as any. Their offensive struggles have been bad but where they struggle the most is on the defensive end.
The Knicks are giving up the most points to opposing point guards in the NBA and things could continue tonight. Carter-Williams is a strong Rookie of the Year candidate and could cause some havoc for the Knicks guards tonight. He is averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Those numbers are impressive for anyone, let alone a rookie as Carter-Williams uses his difference in size to his advantage. If Felton is not on top of his game tonight Carter-Williams will eat him up and spit him out.