Trail Blazers-Knicks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 31, 2012
Nuggets_anthony_sits_799e
Once the most dominant team in the league on their home court, the New York Knicks have stumbled there lately. Having a pair of All-Star forwards back in the lineup might help them get back on track at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony, who missed the last two games with a hyperextended left knee, hopes to return on Tuesday night when New York opens 2013 at home against the Portland Trail Blazers. Amar'e Stoudemire could also make his season debut, depending on how his knee responds following workouts on Monday. Stoudemire has been inactive all season after averaging 17.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 2011-12. "It would be great if I could go January 1st but again, I can't determine how I feel," Stoudemire said on Sunday. "If I can continue to improve then that will be a great day to start back playing." Anthony, one of the top scorers in the NBA at 28.5 points per game, has played in seven of the team's last 13 contests because of three different injuries. The Knicks are 18-6 with Anthony in the lineup, but 3-3 without him. New York (21-9) is home after capping a 1-2 road trip with a 106-105 loss at Sacramento on Friday night when James Johnson made a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Knicks also struggled without Anthony in a 99-97 win at Phoenix two days earlier. While they opened the season with 10 straight wins on their home floor, the Knicks have split their last four games there. New York slipped defensively in those defeats, allowing season-high point totals at home to Houston (109) and Chicago (110). Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith, however, have stepped up with point guard Raymond Felton sidelined for at least a month with a fractured finger. Kidd has averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 assists while shooting 9 of 19 from the 3-point line in the two games Felton has missed. Smith has contributed season highs with 27 and 28 points, respectively, in those two contests. The Knicks, though, hope Anthony can provide a boost for an offense that has averaged 99.0 points in their last four home games after scoring 106.2 per game in the first 10. It might not come easy against a Portland team that limited opponents to 92.4 points in winning seven of its last nine games. The Trail Blazers (15-14) have won seven straight at home to climb above .500, but haven't been able to carry that success to the road. Portland, which opens a four-game trip, suffered both losses during this nine-game stretch away from home. "We won a few games, had a win streak," guard Damian Lillard told the team's official website. "We have more confidence going into this one." Lillard will try to shake off his recent road struggles, totaling 26 points on 10-of-31 shooting (32.3 percent) in his last two away from home. The rookie of the year candidate is averaging 18.3 points on the season after scoring 20 in Portland's 89-85 win over Philadelphia on Saturday night. J.J. Hickson, who looks for his 11th double-double in 12 games, has averaged 15.1 points and 13.2 rebounds over his last 11. Although the Knicks' poor perimeter defense gave up a season-high 15 3-point field goals against Sacramento, the Trail Blazers aren't likely to cash in with the NBA's worst 3-point shooting percentage (30.4) in December. Portland, though, could have guard Wesley Matthews - shooting a team-best 39.5 percent from beyond the arc - after he missed the last four games with a strained hip. The Knicks will try for their third straight win against the Trail Blazers after beating them 121-79 in New York last March.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Drug dealers adding Olympic rings to cocaine wrappers in Rio

Report: Cowboys have ‘no interest’ in Freeney, Hardy

Report: Bradham was defending girlfriend during alleged assault

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Tigers play high stakes game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Tavares dismisses rumors, wants to stay with Islanders

UFC signs a new broadcast deal in the U.K.

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

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker