Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Knicks at San Antonio Spurs - Preview

The beautiful thing about the lockout-shortened season is that there isn't any time to wallow in your joys or sorrows... sort of. Moving on from two disappointing losses in Boston and Dallas, the Knicks face their next big challenge tonight at 8:30 against the San Antonio Spurs. It's a chance for the Knicks to try and get back to their winning ways, but surely questions will persist about Carmelo Anthony's offense and attitude, Jeremy Lin's recent struggles, and the Knicks' consistency.

And playing the Spurs doesn't seem like any sort of medicine for their recent woes. The Spurs are second in the Western Conference, have won seven of their last ten games, and are 14-3 at home. Despite their aging stars and injurious ways, they still keep on chugging led by Tony Parker's brilliant play, Tim Duncan's stabilizing presence, and their ability to turn unremarked players into effective pieces.

Take the jump for more!

Here's what I'll be watching for tonight:

 - THE GUARD MATCHUP!
  • Tony Parker and Jeremy Lin is obviously the intriguing matchup of the night, and one I'll personally be watching because I've felt all along that Lin's game most resembles Parker's. There are rumors that Iman Shumpert will replace Landry Fields in the starting lineup tonight, however which would create more interesting matcups. Does Shumpert guard Parker and Lin guard Manu Ginobili/Gary Neal? Or vice versa. Should be interesting to watch.
 - GET 'MELO ON TRACK!
  • There has been plenty of criticism towards Carmelo Anthony after his 2-12, seemingly disinterested performance last night. I don't care to delve into that, but he definitely needs to have a rebound game. Carmelo is too vital of a scorer in this offense to be so lackluster. A good game tonight would quell some of the fears. Another stinker may put New York ablaze.
 - CLOSE OUT ON SHOOTERS!
  • The Spurs are second in the league in 3-point percentage at 39.6% and they attempt nearly 20 of them per game. Guys like Matt Bonner, Richard Jefferson, and Gary Neal are all threats from beyond the arc, and the Knicks could get pulverized if they aren't prudent in closing out the Spurs' shooters.

San Antonio Spurs Scouting Report
 - Rookie Kawhi Leonard sometimes has trouble sleeping at night, so Tim Duncan must tell him bedtime stories while Matt Bonner hums Celtic hymns to help Kawhi settle down.

 - Manu Ginobili of Argentina and Tiago Splitter of Brazil had trouble getting along at first because of their countries' neighborly rivalry, but they've bonded through making fun of Richard Jefferson's duck-like looks.

 - T.J. Ford hasn't played much since getting injured in early January. His original prognosis was two to three months recovery time, but that was quickly sped up when DeJuan Blair began rubbing his secret formula on T.J.'s injury. DeJuan will not reveal anything about the formula except that it comes from his belly button.


Game time is at 8:30, folks! Knicks need this one badly, but it surely won't come easy. Let's go Knicks!

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