New York Knicks (38-22) @ Golden State Warriors (35-29)
1030PM/ET on MSG
None of us need to be reminded what happened the last time these two teams faced off. Stephen Curry blew the roof off The Garden, scoring 54 points off 11-out-of-13 three pointers. Yet, as beautiful as his individual shooting performance was, the Warriors took an ‘L’ that night, losing 109-105. When it counted, the Knicks finally cuffed Curry. Raymond Felton, who’s struggled defending the league’s quicker guards all season, came up with some much needed stops in the final minutes. Although Curry has cooled off a lot since lighting MSG up a couple of weeks ago, he’s currently only shooting 39.8 percent and averaging 17.7 points on 36 percent in his last three games, Felton and Curry will be back at it. Curry will have his moments, but overall, I don’t expect him to put on another show.
During their last meeting, the Knicks were also boosted by Tyson Chandler’s 28 rebounds, a career-high for the reigning Defensive Playof of the Year. Without David Lee, the NBA’s current double-double leader, battling him on the boards, Chandler was able to dominate. But tonight will be a different story. Although Lee missed Saturday’s game with a right knee contusion, he’s expected to be fired up and ready to go against his former team. The addition of Lee definitely gives the Warriors some much needed depth, but the signing of Kenyon Martin is also a game changer for the Knicks. This will be one matchup to watch. K-Mart provides the Knicks with versatility on both sides of the ball. Defensively, Martin is intense and quick enough to defend the pick-n-roll. And, offensively, the Knicks can look for Martin to score in the paint and pick up the slack in STAT’s absence.
Also, don’t be surprised if Chris Copeland finally gets a chance to earn his pay. When called upon on Saturday against the Utah Jazz, Copeland responded with 12 points (4-6), in seven minutes. Granted it was garbage time, he made the most of his minutes and capitalized off of the Utah Jazz’s deficiencies like the vets were able to do. When given the opportunity, Cope’s done that all season, and it looks like he may finally get rewarded for it. After Saturday’s game, Coach Woodson praised Copeland and said he may have earned himself some valuable playing time in the near future. With banged up bodies and a tough schedule ahead, Coach should look for Copeland starting tonight. While he won’t contribute much defensively, he’s able to create his own shot, and that’s more than you can say for Steve Novak.
Stakes are high for both teams. The Warriors have lost 12 of 17, and dropped their last two games at home. That’s the first time that’s happened all season. At some point I expect the Warriors to turn things around, but I think they’ll have to wait at least one more game to get their mojo back, especially if Melo makes his return tonight as expected.
While jet lag could cause the Knicks to get off to a slow start, I think they’ll turn it around by the second half. Knicks win.
Wednesday, March 13: Knicks @ Nuggets 1030PM/ET on MSG