Originally written on Knickswag  |  Last updated 10/20/14
By, Kenneth Teape – Knickswag Contributor Pre-Game News and Notes Thunder vs. Knicks: TNT 8pm The Knicks will not only be under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden tonight but also on national television, as the Thunder come into New York for their only visit this season.  The Knicks have fared well against the Western Conference at home, winning nine of 12 games this season, but tonight very well may be their biggest Western Conference test this season.  The Thunder own the third best record in the NBA at 44-16 and will present a big test for the Knicks tonight. -Bring it on Defense The Knicks only chance of pulling out a victory tonight is if they bring the effort and intensity on the defensive side of the ball tonight.  The Thunder boast one of the best offenses in the NBA thanks to the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant (28.6 points per game) and Russell Westbrook (23.6 points per game). Those players are key contributors to the Thunder having a league-high 110.7 points per 100 possessions and run a deadly pick-and-roll game. This could be a disaster for the Knicks, who have struggled in slowing down the pick-and-roll and opposing guards are season, will have their hands full tonight.  Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert will have to set the tone right from the start on the defensive end as the Knicks have very little chance of pulling this one out unless they can slow the Thunder down some, as the Knicks do not have as efficient of an offense as the Thunder do. March has brought an improvement to the Knicks defense, as they have allowed teams to shoot only 43.5 percent from the field for 90.3 points per game in four games.  Unfortunately the one loss the Knicks have in that stretch is against a team most likely better than the Thunder in the Heat. -Will Melo Play? Another factor in how much of a chance the Knicks have tonight is if Carmelo Anthony will suit up.  Anthony sat Wednesday night against the Pistons after hurting his knee Monday night in Cleveland with a sore knee.  Last night Mike Woodson said that Anthony had some fluid buildup on the knee and would ultimately have the call if he wanted to play. If Anthony is out the Knicks chances of winning will fall squarely on the shoulders of Amar’e Stoudemire to score the basketball with J.R. Smith playing the sidekick.  Stoudemire has embraced the role in the last two games, scoring 22 points against both the Cavaliers and Pistons and doing it efficiently at the same time.  If Smith can score almost as efficiently as Stoudemire has been the Knicks chances of winning would growth exponentially. Stoudemire will and should still come off the bench tonight and continue to lead the second unit thanks to the help of Jason Kidd who has embraced his role as the backup point guard and second unit leader. -Cut down the Turnovers Early on in the season the Knicks had success because they would not turn the ball over.  They are still ranked atop the NBA in turnovers per game at 12.1 per game, but lately have had some high turnover games making it more difficult on themselves to pick up victories.  The first two months of the season they were turning the ball over less than 11 times per game. They have been overly-sloppy in their four March games as well, turning the ball over an average of 16 times per game.  Wednesday was especially tough for the Knicks, who turned the ball over 20 total times and 11 times in the first quarter alone.  The Knicks will be in for a long night if they are unable to take care of the ball as Durant and Westbrook would like for nothing more to put on a show in Madison Square Garden in transition. The post Can the Knicks Compete Against the Thunder? appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues

Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

Most disappointing potential dynasties of divisional era

WATCH: OHL hockey coach goes off on reporter: ‘F*** you!’

PK Subban as Michael Jackson at Canadiens' Halloween party

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.