Friday, January 11, 2008

Pre-Gaming: Knicks versus Raptors

Tip-Off: 7:30 PM at MSG

Isiah has unfortunately not been suspended for tonight's game following the League's review of the incident the other night. So, he will be on the bench hopefully sabotaging the team in less dramatic ways than against the Rockets.

Things to watch for:
-Chris Bosh vs. Knicks frontcourt: After getting torched by Yao twice in a week can the Knick frontcourt deal with another All-Star big man? And, by deal with, I mean defend not simply strike some sort of deal that allows that player to dunk at his leisure. After seeing how successful Lee was while fronting Yao will he be deployed to defend Bosh? Bosh is currently averaging a shade over 20 per. If he scores under 27 I would count that as some sort of moral victory for this offensive defensive unit.

-Butch and Sundance (aka David Lee and Nate Robinson): This high energy duo has become the key ingredient to our good runs of play. They started the second half against Houston, which was potentially a HUGE moment. Hopefully that was the beginning of their increased involvement in the gameplan. They have been seeing quality minutes with Steph, Jamal and either Zach/Eddy. Will this keep up? I hope so since they bring an entirely different energy to the floor and speed up the tempo. Moreover, they have developed a good interplay that has keyed some of the team's best runs.

-The Zach-Hole: How many possessions will be absorbed by this intergalactic menace?

-Jose Calderon vs. Stephon Marbury: Calderon has been playing at an All-Star level since Ford went down with that nasty neck injury. He can score and distribute. If Calderon is able to penetrate at will then we're in for a long night with Bosh and Bargnani ready for the balll and likely open because they'll be the responsibility of our Bigs.

The Captain apparently likes the arrangement of the deck chairs aboard this Titantic

Marc Berman reports in today's Post that Willis Reed thinks it's too early to get down on the Curry/Randolph tandem.

"If I had Curry and Zach on my team, I wouldn't give up on them yet. I love Zach. I was happy the Knicks were able to acquire him. I'd walk in the room and say, guys, don't give up on yourselves. Eventually it will come. I would tell them to stop the reading the papers. Eddy is a very talented player and I hope he doesn't get discouraged."

Maybe he is remembering the way that folks never thought Clyde and the Pearl could play together. Until they did. Unfortunately, this is not the same thing. These two aren't nearly as good or nearly as aware. Clyde had already won a title and Monroe desperately wanted to win won before his game fell off to far. They were smart, aware supremely talented vets whereas these two are shockingly unaware and physically gifted pets.