When: 7:30 PM
Where: Madison Square Garden
Network: MSG, NBA TV
Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)
SG: Randy Foye
SF: DeMarre Carroll
PF: Derrick Favors
C: Al Jefferson
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Iman Shumpert
SF: James White
PF: Kurt Thomas
C: Tyson Chandler
No Carmelo tonight, No Amar’e for the next six weeks, No chance for the Knicks?
Not so fast my friends…
Surely you probably think I’m crazy to even think that the Knicks, minus their two biggest stars and arguably their best players could beat the Jazz tonight.
But while I was looking for a picture to add to this post, I came across a bit of interesting information about the last Knicks-Jazz game at the Garden.
It was then that a certain point guard who is no longer with the team made his first NBA start, Melo was hurt early in the first quarter and Amar’e was already out as well. Also, J.R. Smith had not yet joined the team at that time either.
Things you would think would look bleak for those Knicks led by former Coach Pringles and yet they were not too bad. Led by that point guard who’s name escapes me and Steve Novak the Knicks beat the Jazz 97-88.
So as we fast forward about 13 months since that win for the Knicks, I can say that even though Melo is out again and Amar’e is out as well, things aren’t too bleak at all, at least for tonight’s game.
The Jazz, right above the playoff line in the Western Conference have been struggling of late. Losing their past three games on this East Coast road trip, including a one point loss just last night in Chicago.
They have a team that if in the East would probably make a lot more noise in terms of the playoffs, but because they play in the run and gun West, their style, which is big man oriented just doesn’t seem to fit.
They do have Al Jefferson back, he played last night for the first time in three games after an ankle injury but will be missing Paul Millsap, the other half of the big man combo.
The loss of Stoudemire for the next six weeks (or more) is a huge blow for the Knicks. It now puts pressure on Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby to step up and even more importantly, stay healthy.
The Knicks have had to battle through injuries throughout the season and played most of the season with Amar’e already. So things, seriously, are not as bad as they seem.
It would be a lot worse if the injury to Melo were to become more serious than what it seems to be right now.
In terms of this game tonight, a win for the Knicks would be good for their confidence moving forward as this West Coast trip looms. Taking advantage of a tired Jazz team would be beneficial if they are going to win this game and start to move on without Amar’e.
All is not lost my fellow Knicks fans, it just only seems that way.
Five Questions About Tonight’s Game
- Can J.R. shoulder the scoring load with Melo & Amar’e Out?
- How will Tyson Chandler handle his match up with Al Jefferson?
- Can Randy Foye have another big game against the Knicks like he has in the past?
- Can the Knicks take advantage of this being the second game of a back to back for the Jazz?
- Will Chris Copeland, stapled to the bench for the last two months, remember where the court is?