Found November 16, 2012 on
Bay Sports Nut:
New York Knicks
The NBA’s only undefeated team.
The New York Knicks (6-0) head into Friday night as the NBA’s only remaining unbeaten team, but they will have their hands full with the Memphis Grizzlies (6-1) in a battle of 2 of the NBA’s early surprises. Memphis, who has a 14 game regular season winning streak on their home court, continues to fly under the radar with only one loss and some early big wins, including one against the Miami Heat. The Knicks on the other hand are getting all of the hype that one would expect, as this is only the second Knicks team in history to start a season 6-0.
It will be a true test for New York’s big men, who are still without Amare Stoudemire. Memphis has the duo of Zach Randolph (16.7 ppg) and Marc Gasol (14.1 ppg), who Charles Barkley recently deemed as the best center in basketball. Without Amare, the Knicks have been using their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony (23.8 ppg) at the 4 position alongside center Tyson Chandler. This will be a battle under the glass all night long. Expect to see the Knicks use the old man trio of Rasheed Wallace and possibly even Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas for some extra help. On the flip side of things, Zach Randolph and the rest of the Grizzlies will have a tough time defending arguably the best scorer in the league, Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has the size, strength, and quickness, and can hit from wherever he wants.
Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol.
This will also be a test for New York’s back court. There were a lot of defensive concerns surrounding the Knicks signings of point guards Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton. They will have their hands full trying to contain Mike Conley Jr.’s youth and athleticism. Memphis guard Tony Allen will also put the pressure on the Knicks defensively, as he is one of the premier defenders in the league. The Knicks guards like to knock down the open three ball, while the Grizzlies three point threats have been coming off the bench. Quincy Pondexter (10 for 22), Wayne Ellington (11 for 24), and Jerryd Bayliss (10 for 18) have all been shooting it well from long range all season long. This is a threat that Memphis has not had in the past few years. The Grizzlies newly acquired role players have stepped up big time to fill the void of O.J. Mayo, who they lost to free agency.
The key matchup will be between swingmen J.R. Smith (18 ppg) of the Knicks and Rudy Gay (20.7 ppg) of the Grizzlies. They are each team’s most dynamic, athletic scorers that can each spark a run that could steal a win for their team. Both are explosive players that can get to the hole or knock down a deep three. J.R. Smith has never met a shot that he didn’t like and can hit from anywhere on the floor.
Overall, tonight makes for a great matchup. It will be tough for the Knicks playing on back to back nights after their big win in San Antonio last night. They will be coming into a tough building to play in, but they know all too well about playing in tough atmospheres. Look for Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith to take control down the stretch. They both thrive under the national spotlight.
Tip-Off is at 6:30 PM Pacific time. This game will be nationally broadcasted.
- Rich Peters
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