Tonight’s game sees the Knicks take on former point guard Mark Jackson, who is now head coach for the opposition Golden State Warriors. The game is the first in a 3 game West Coast trip, with games against the Lakers and Kings to follow.
The Warriors back-court is their main threat to the Knicks and with Shumpert out injured, Steph and Monta could cause some major problems. Of course, this is if Steph Curry actually plays, which at the moment is questionable as he has an ankle injury. Outside of those two, though, the Warriors have little to throw at the Knicks. Former Knick David Lee could have a big game if Amar’e Stoudemire doesn’t step up his defense but he doesn’t have much front-court help alongside him.
The Warriors were one of the main teams in the market for Tyson Chandler due to their lack of size but in the end they had to settle for Kwame Brown – a consolation prize at best. The Knicks ‘big three’ should dominate things inside and I’d expect STAT to have his turn at a big game. Despite this, as always, Carmelo still remains just as big a threat to go off.
New signee Jeremy Lin could have a chance to show his former team why they should have kept him, with Shumpert and Davis out injured, but it’s hard to tell with D’Antoni whether or not he’ll get minutes. If Toney Douglas continues to take shot after shot, he should certainly be tried out, at least for a little while.
After an important opening day victory against the rival Celtics this game is very winnable for the Knicks and it is essential that this level of team is beaten if we are to truly be a title contender. Mark Jackson and David Lee would definitely like to stick it to their former team but at the end of the day this should be a Knick victory, building momentum going into tomorrow’s big game against the struggling Lakers.