When: 1:00 PM
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
Starting Lineups (Subject To Change)
PG: Russell Westbrook
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Serge Ibaka
C: Kendrick Perkins
PG: Pablo Prigioni
SG: Raymond Felton
SF: Iman Shumpert
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler
“Welcome, to another edition of Thunderdome!” – Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
As the season winds down to its conclusion in about another 10 days, the Knicks get themselves a nice little test as they head to OKC and play the Thunder on National Television, looking for their 12th straight win.
With Kenyon Martin, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace and Amar’e Stoudemire all nursing injuries that have kept them out for differing lengths of time, Tyson Chandler will be the lone true big man playing for the Knicks today.
When you consider the backups off the bench at Center could be a combination of Steve Novak and Chris Copeland, the reality of this game being even harder to win than it already was starts to set in.
Now, as I have mentioned many times before, this team just loves to have it’s back against the wall, before, fighting it’s way out and getting wins.
When you are led by a scoring combination playing at it’s highest level, then no matter the injuries, you always will have a shot to win a game in the NBA.
Carmelo Anthony, he of the three straight 40+ point performances, and J.R. Smith, who once again scored 30+ off the bench vs. the Bucks, are playing as well as they possibly could right now.
The Knicks will need them to once again play at that level to ward off the Thunder, who just went to Indiana and pasted the Pacers, holding them to eight points in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder have the kind of team that everyone outside of Miami would kill to have. Length in the frontcourt, two superstar players, one of which is a point guard, and youth.
Only a team built as well as they are could trade away the 5th best scorer in the NBA in James Harden and still win close to 60 games.
We all know that the Thunder, who came to the Garden to face the Knicks with Melo out a month ago, played about as bad as they could for long stretches of that game and barely escaped with a victory.
This team is not unbeatable, it just only seems that way with the way they are talked about on any network that covers the NBA.
The point is that once again it seems the Knicks have the odds stacked against them. But really, what else is new for this team.
Of course, they have been proving people wrong all year, so why not do it again in OKC?
Five Questions About Tonight’s Game
- Can Melo score 40+ for the 4th straight game?
- How will Chandler look having to deal with Perkins & Ibaka?
- Can the Knicks keep Russell Westbrook in check?
- Will Kevin Durant be able to match Melo point for point?
- Which 6th man, J.R. Smith or Kevin Martin, will have the better game?