Knicks-Nuggets

Knicks (15-9) v Denver (14-8) Preview and Analysis

A victory against the Denver Nuggets (14-8) could be a redefining win for our Knicks (15-9).  By beating the Nuggets, or even being close, the Knicks can show us that they are more than the best of the worse teams in the league.  Thus far the vast majority of the Knicks winning record has been built on losing teams or teams without key components like the win against the Hornets without David West.  Now, with Carmelo Anthony expected to play, despite missing the past two games due to knee problems, the Knicks begin the tough part of their schedule.  Thus far the Knicks have survived their mistakes with persistence, hopefully because of their winning attitude, they will work through the expected difficulties and remain resilient.  Additionally, we must hope that Amar’e has the chance to play less as he is starting to show signs of wear from his intense run of 30points-plus games.


KNICKS

New York Knicks

Overall Analysis and Expectations

The Knicks have changed, as a team, since they lost to Denver (120-118) on November 16th to cap a six game losing streak.  After Amar’e questioned the team’s character, the Knicks went on a five game win streak which began their building a winning culture and attitude.  That attitude and persistence will be necessary against a high-scoring Nuggets team that may be hampered by the injury or absence of Carmelo Anthony and their lack of defense. This is a very winnable game for the Knicks who overcame a 16-point deficit to tie the game when they last met. The Nuggets continue to surrender large leads late in games as they did in their last win against Toronto.  However, Melo, Al Harrington and J.R. Smith may be ready for this particular stage although this is the last game in a tough road trip for them. They’re playing in New York so fatigue should not be a factor.

NUGGETS

PG

Raymond Felton


Toney Douglas

Billups does what he needs to win and will take up the scoring load if Anthony is absent and limited. Billups has scored 20 or more points four times this season and is averaging 15 ppg and 5.3apg. . . . Ty Lawson represent a very potent bench and is a capable floor leader with good speed. . . . Felton and Douglas could have a field day if they are aggressive on both ends of the court.  Denver is a high turnover squad. They had 22 turnovers to go with their 27 assists against Toronto.     

PG

Chauncey BillupsBillups

Ty LawsonLawson

SG

Landry Fields


Shawne Williams

 Arron Affalo, the probable starter, is having his best season yet averaging 12.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 2.4 apg. . . . J.R. Smith only played one minute when the teams last met because he missed shot around, but he is back in the rotation.  In the win against Toronto he played 28 minutes and scored 11 pts, grabbed three boards, made 4 assists and had 2 steals. . . .Solid Landry Fields has been averaging 30.8mpg during which he averages 10.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 1.7 apg. He is playing extremely well without the ball in his hands and he continues to have spectacular dunks off missed shots, including free throws.

SG

J.R. SmithSmith

Arron AfflaloAfflalo

SF

 

Danilo Gallinari

Anthony Randolph

Anthony, who is day-to-day due to right knee tendinitis and has missed the last two games. does not want to pass up today’s game.  Rumors are at a high pitch regarding his desire to be a Knick, but right now he may want to bask in the spotlight and adulation as well as insure his team a victory. . . . Pay attention to this kid Forbes. At 6-7, 220lbs he has both an inside and outside offensive game.  He is ranked second among rookies in points per 48 minutes (23.4).  He had 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in 24 minutes against Raptors. . . . Inconsistent Gallo seems to come alive when he plays against Carmelo.  The Knicks will need him to penetrate and take advantage of Denver’s weak interior D. . . .Shawne Williams seems to have faded now that he has been asked to do more than hit the spot up corner tre.  D’Antoni seemed to shorten his rotation by only giving Williams 5 minutes of floor time against the Wiz. . . . Anthony Randolph is only significant in that he is rumored to be on the trading block for a first rounder that would give the Knicks more leverage in Melo trade talks.  

SF

 Carmelo AnthonyAnthony

 Gary ForbesForbes

PF

 

Amare Stoudemire

 

 

Sheldon Williams has started every game this season but only played 15 minutes against Toronto where he scored 6 points.  He averages 5.5 pp and 6.3 boards. . . . Harrington will be pumped up to show Knicks fans what they are missing in him.  He gives the bench great scoring punch and will be unstoppable down low by any Knick defender. He scored 31 points in his last game against Toronto.  probably psyched to score often after feeling dissed by D’Antoni and suggesting the obvious to New York press that Danilo was given preferential treatment to the displeasure of some Knicks. . . . Studdy (with his 7th straight 30 point game)  has been spectacular but he will need to cut down on his turnovers (11 against Wiz) especially against the Nuggets. . . . Chandler has found his place within the system and has been playing very well mixing up his inside and outside play. 

PF

Sheldon Williams

Williams

Al HarringtonHarrington

C

Timofey Mozgov


Rony Turiaf


Nene will be a very difficult cover if Denver continues its penchant for ball movement and great shooting from the arc. Nene takes most of his shots from within 8 feet and is shooting 63% this season (69% over last six games).  He averages 14.9 points and 7 boards per game. His last game against the Knicks he had 17 points on -9 shooting in 30 minutes.  However, he had 26 points against Toronto with Anthony absent.  The Knicks will need to use Mozzy and Turiaf to slow him down.  Turiaf is absolutely no threat offensively and changes the Knicks offense negatively, but gives a defensive presence  and hustles. 

C

NeneNene