Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Knicks at Toronto Raptors - Preview

Hey ya'll, I already did a game preview back in January when the Knicks played the Raptors at home, so this one is just going to be a quicky. The fortunes of the Knicks have changed greatly since these teams last saw each other, so of course, the circumstances have changed quite a bit. The Knicks are still missing Carmelo Anthony, but Amar'e Stoudemire will be back tonight. For the Raptors, they're missing Andrea Bargnani, who is a notorious Knick-killer.

 Here's what I'll be watching for:

 - JEREMY LIN AND AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE'S CHEMISTRY!
  • Amar'e Stoudemire has only played one game with Linsanity as we now know him, so tonight's game is sort of a meet-and-greet of sorts. Stoudemire may be a bit rusty as he hasn't played in over a week and is likely still mourning the loss of his brother. Lin, meanwhile, has had two days rest and made Jared Jeffries look pretty nice in the pick-and-roll, so adding in Amar'e should be a welcome change.
 - STEVE NOVAK'S vs. BILL WALKER'S MINUTES
  • Simply said, Bill Walker's been pretty terrible the last few games, while Steve Novak has excelled in his new found place in the rotation. Novak is averaging 15.5 ppg, shooting 52.4% from downtown, and grabbing 4.5 rpg in his last 4 games - all Jeremy Lin starts. Though Novak can still be considered a bit of a defensive liability out there, there's no doubt he helps the offense more than Bill Walker.
 - CAN IMAN SHUMPERT AND LANDRY FIELDS CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE?!
  • Make no mistake, the Knicks' win over the Wolves last Saturday probably wouldn't happen without Shumpert's and Fields's contributions on offense/ Both had terrific games, wisely choosing their spots on offense, playing solid defense, and getting big baskets down the stretch. The Knicks are a much better team when both guys step up and play their best. Consistency is the key here for young players.
Let's all get ready! Tip off is at 7. If the Knicks win tonight, they'll be 14-15 and on a 6-game winning streak which are both very exciting things! Go Knicks!

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