Originally written on Knickswag  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Nba-grizzlies-mavericks
Pre-Game News and Notes Raptors vs  Knicks: MSG 730pm Much like last week against the Washington Wizards the Knicks will face off against a team whose record does not tell the whole story of the team they are facing.  The Raptors enter tonight’s contest with a 20-32 record, but have a new toy in Rudy Gay that makes they a dangerous team.  The remainder of this season for the Raptors will be a building block into next season when they look to make their push into the post season.  The Raptors enter the game tonight on a three-game winning streak and if not taken seriously will run the Knicks out of the Garden.  The Knicks will look to enter the All-Star break on a high note with a victory tonight instead of a low note and two game losing streak. -Avoid Slow Start The Knicks have become stubbornly consistent at starting games slowly recently.  They dig themselves into a hole they can sometimes not overcome and fall behind so much that their valiant effort falls short in the end. Against the Raptors tonight getting off to a hot start is key, as they come into Madison Square Garden riding high on a three-game win streak and new found depth after the acquisition of Rudy Gay. Getting off to a slow start will doom the Knicks, as the Raptors are shaping up to be a team that cannot be taken lightly.  They are also coming off a thrilling home victory last night against the Denver Nuggets, so the Knicks should bring it to them right from the start, as they could possibly be fatigued. -Bench Play Much like the Knicks with Amar’e Stoudemire, the Raptors have a former go-to player coming off the bench in former number one overall pick Andrea Bargnani.  Since Gay’s arrival Bargnani has been coming off the bench for the Raptors and has not made a fuss about being moved to the second unit. That will be the matchup of the night to watch, as both Stoudemire and Bargnani are a big part of what both teams do to win. The rest of the bench battle will be just as tantalizing of a matchup, as the Knicks will see former shooting guard Landry Fields and athletic rookie Terrence Ross.  It will be up to J.R. Smith to match if not out produce those two, as the Knicks bench has given next to nothing recently.  Against a team in transition after a trade is a good time for the second unit to get going. -Slow Down the Perimeter With the acquisition of Gay, the Raptors now have two super athletic wing players in their starting lineup for opposing teams to contend with now that he is paired with DeMar DeRozan; who is having a break-out season of his own.  Both players are capable of finishing a possession that is running low on the shot clock and have a wide array of ways to score.  Slowing them down should be the Knicks number one priority as the rest of the team feeds off what they do. Where the Knicks need to improve is in the screen game, as the Raptors will run Gay and DeRozan off screens like they are going out of style.  With how the Knicks play the pick-and-roll and screen game, this could lead to problems, as big men such as Tyson Chandler may be asked to slow down the dynamic duo of Gay and DeRozan for stretches of the game. The Knicks will have to be on top of the transition game as well, as Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry likes to push the ball in transition and get fast break points for his team.  The Raptors have athletic finishers in Gay, DeRozan and Ross who can all finish with authority at the basket, evident by the fact that Ross will be taking part in the Dunk Contest this weekend during the All-Star Break.   Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor The post Knicks Need This Win Before All-Star Break appeared first on Knickswag - A New York Knicks Blog - News, Rumors, and more!.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Denver Nuggets fire Brian Shaw

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Yankees fire employee over Curt Schilling's daughter tweets

Ravens settle grievance, pay Ray Rice $1.6 million

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

A-Rod goes 0-2 against Yankees pitching machine 'Iron Mike'

Redick: Flip Saunders told me to ‘shut the f— up’ three times

Ohio native Brian Hartline to visit Browns today

Report: Jets owner urging team to pursue Darrelle Revis

Kobe Bryant: Wife suffered miscarriage during rape trial

Hernandez allegedly shot friend after fight over strip club bill

SpongeBob SquarePants: The newest NASCAR race sponsor

Winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline

Andrew Luck shaved beard, left mustache

Museum to give away DeLorean if Cubs win World Series

Jameis Winston looking to trademark 'Famous Jameis'

Maple Leafs burned on Twitter by frustrated fan

Keith Olbermann putting an end to his Twitter 'batting practice'

Prospect receives 75 cent check from Yankees

Flores: If Nick Young takes a shot at me, he's going to miss

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Who received franchise tags at the deadline and who did not

WATCH: Whiteside, Len ejected after getting into wrestling match

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

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.