The Knicks have lost seven out of eight games including a ten point loss in Cleveland last night. It’s been a terrible stretch of games for everyone involved. The Knicks sit a 7-11 on the season and thing aren’t getting any easier as they travel to Miami to play the 13-5 Heat on ESPN tomorrow.
However unlikely, a win on the road in Miami could be a statement game. The game where you look back at the end of the season and say that this is the reason things got turned around. Miami didn’t get off to a scorching start last season starting at 9-8 and then went on to rattle off 12 straight as the schedule got light. A win tomorrow with the world watching and the Knicks get an important part of it’s game back, confidence.
Carmelo Anthony was great to start the season but has been through one of the roughest stretches of his career since spraining his ankle in Memphis. Melo missed the OKC game and since coming back has gone 40-126 from the field. His jumper isn’t falling and he doesn’t seem to be in the best shape of his career. I actually thought the game where he went for a career low one point was one of the better games for him during this stretch because he recognized that the jumper wasn’t falling, rebounded, and set up his teammates.
Anthony is a better player than this and a prime-time matchup against LeBron James might be what he needs to find his offense. I’m not worried about Anthony, he’s a competitor and will get it together but it hasn’t been pretty. James, meanwhile, has been the best player in the NBA so far this season with averages of 29 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists per game. We saw Anthony get the better of the chosen one in the Garden last season and it’s going to have to happen again for the ailing Knicks to win. It’s time for Melo to live up to his nickname of the Bully and take it right at the King in his castle.
Amare Stoudemire is going to have to defend Chris Bosh. Bosh has been on a hot streak with Dwyane Wade out including going for 35 and 27 his last two times out. I imagine Tyson Chandler will be able to help off of Joel Anthony to help contain Bosh because Stat isn’t known for his defense and might get burned up. Stat has been trying to find his offense and has been doing a better job with 19 and 18 his last two times out. He hasn’t looked explosive, he’s been settling for the jumper, and is another guy that just needs to snap out of it. I have faith that the Knicks can turn this ship around because the talent with come together eventually and Stoudemire is a huge part of that.
Tyson Chandler should have a big advantage over Joel Anthony in the paint. In the Knicks win over the Bobcats a few nights ago, Chandler dropped 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. When he gets the ball anywhere around the rim it’s a guaranteed flush and he’s a great finisher. Defensively is where his value is as he swats shots and protects the basket but I think that if the Knicks get him involved early against Anthony, it could pay dividends.
Landry Fields has really been heating up lately scoring double-figures in five straight games and will have to deal with superstar D-Wade. Wade is supposed to be back after missing games with an ankle injury but I am not one hundred percent sure if he’s playing or not. He will likely show some rust if he is back and Shane Battier will get some time. Iman Shumpert vs Mario Chalmers, both defensive guards, is basically a push.
If the Knicks play like they have been lately then they are going to get beaten down. I like the matchups for New York and I believe that this type of big game is exactly the type of game that these guys will show up for and compete in. When they move the ball and play as a team, which we have seen them do, they are a good team but there’s no reason to believe until it’s happening tomorrow night. D’antoni needs to have him team prepared because with each loss the temperature on his seat goes up.