Knicks-Raptors: What to Watch For

Can the Knicks make it 6 in a row?

New York has won 5 straight games, while Toronto has lost 3 in a row. This is a game the Knicks should win. They are better than Toronto. They have more to play for than Toronto. They are more talented than Toronto.

The Knicks haven’t played since defeating Philadelphia on Wednesday night. They should have fresh legs tonight. No excuses for the Knicks in this one. They absolutely should win this game.

Here’s what to watch for:

  • Jared Jeffries is out for the Knicks. In Philadelphia on Wednesday, Jeffries re-aggrivated his sore right knee. It is an injury that Jeffries has dealt with all season. He will be out for tonights game, as well as tomorrow night’s game versus Detroit. Make no mistake, this is a huge loss for the Knicks. Thankfully, Toronto and Detroit suck so the Knicks should still be okay. Jeffries has to get healthy soon in order for this team to make a run. In my opinion, he is as valuable to this team as anybody. The way he can impact a game defensively is a trait that few others in the league have. The Knicks should survive not having Jeffries tonight, but I think I speak for all Knick fans when I say: please, get well soon Jared.
  • Hey Baron, this isn’t Rucker Park. Despite the Knick victory Wednesday, Baron Davis was god awful. I understand he was rusty, but I didn’t like the way he was playing. There are times when Davis thinks he’s still at UCLA, and he’ll try and make the flashy highlight pass, rather than make the fundamentally sound basketball play. Tonight, I’d like to see Baron tone down the antics and up the production.
  • Can Melo get his shooting back? Carmelo Anthony has been playing much better since Mike Woodson has taken over as head coach. He is doing almost everything he should have been already doing. He’s defending, passing and rebounding. The one thing, ironically, that he isn’t doing is scoring. During the Knicks 5 game winning streak, Anthony is scoring just 14.2 ppg on 38% shooting. His shot attempts have actually been down, something Mike D’Antoni preached, since Woodson has taken over. I think Anthony is playing much better than he was before, but he still gets paid to score. The Knicks can’t have Anthony shooting 38% down the stretch. He has to improve that. Toronto doesn’t have a small forward who can consistently check Anthony. This is a game he should dominate. He shot only 5/15 over the Knicks victory over the Raptors on Tuesday. I expect more from him tonight.
  • Which Linsanity are we on? Berman of the Post proclaimed that we are in the midst of Linsanity II. I don’t get why we ever left Linsanity I? It’s not like Lin has been doing horribly, he’s been doing quite well as of late. In March, Lin is still averaging 15.5 ppg and 6.7 apg. Not too shabby for someone who was supposedly dead. Here are screen shots of Lin’s games. Tell me where he died here, I don’t see it.

  • It’s so awesome to see Amar’e playing well. The Knicks star has been much embattled all season. His health was not right, his production has fallen and he had to deal with the death of his older brother, Hazell. However, since the all-star break, Stoudemire has shown flashes of the player we all came to love last season. The past two games, he has been fantastic. He has scored 43 points and grabbed 21 rebounds over the past two games. Stoudemire is averaging 18.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg in March. More encouraging than his statistics, is that Stoudemire is passing the eye test. For the first time all year, he has some spring in his legs. He’s been able to dunk the ball easily. He’s been able to elevate and block shots on defense. These past two games have been great for Amar’e Stoudemire and I hope he continues to keep it up.
  • Inspired by the Dragon Ball Z/Knicks inspired talk on twitter this morning, here’s a clip of Yamcha being killed by a┬ásaibamen:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNke7XikFHI]