Game #53: Knicks vs. 76ers

When: 7:00 PM

Where: Madison Square Garden

Network: MSG

Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)

76ers (22-31)

PG: Jrue Holiday

SG: Evan Turner

SF: Thaddeus Young8874683_448x252

PF: Lavoy Allen

C: Spencer Hawes

Knicks (32-20)

PG: Raymond Felton

SG: Jason Kidd

SF: Iman Shumpert

PF: Carmelo Anthony

C: Tyson Chandler

Matthew Falkenbury

Home, sweet home.

The Knicks are back at the Garden for the first time since the All-Star break tonight as they will look to break a season long four game losing streak against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The issues that this team has had recently in losing five out six and now being 14-15 in the past 29 games have been well documented. Whether it’s the switching on defense, the down turn in three point shooting, poor execution on offense as a whole, the Knicks have the look of a team collapsing right in front of our eyes.

In the blog post that preceded this one by Tommy Dee, I thought he made a very good point about this game tonight. “But this isn’t about the opponent. This is the Knicks desperate need to prove to themselves that they can navigate through choppy waters. I don’t get sucked in to the opponent’s record, the NBA is about match ups on a given night.”

The match up that will be the most intriguing will be Raymond Felton or Iman Shumpert against Jrue Holiday. After torching the Knicks in the last meeting with a career high 35 points and averaging 26 points in the season series, stopping him will be key tonight.

Outside of Holiday, the Sixers don’t have much else that scares you and are a team that really can’t beat the Knicks unless the Knicks help them. With the way they have played recently, you can’t have much faith that they won’t do just that.

This game tonight reminds me a lot of the game about a month ago where the Knicks took on the Hawks after losing two of three against division opponents including getting blown out in Philly the night before.

That night Melo willed the Knicks to victory and started what was a five game winning streak before this poor stretch began. It was one big win that, combined with a weaker schedule, snowballed into a long winning streak.

The Knicks schedule certainly is not as easy coming up, but sometimes one game and one win can snowball and before you know it, the “Crisis in Confidence” will be over.

Lets hope that one game and one win is tonight.

Five Questions About Tonight’s Game

  1. Who besides Melo will step up for the Knicks tonight?
  2. Can the Knicks stop Jrue Holiday?
  3. Can playing at home help the Knicks end this losing streak?
  4. Will they give a 100% defensive effort for the entire game?
  5. Will Chris Copeland be allowed to play if the status quo continues to fail?