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

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

Report: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Drew Brees trying to 'save the game' with flag football

Report: Jackson ‘laughing with confidants’ about fleecing Dolan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Blake Griffin may still return to Clippers despite Chris Paul exit

Report: Eight teams already interested in Zach Orr

What to expect from United States Men’s National Team in Gold Cup

Bryce Harper fuels Cubs speculation with Instagram post

Mike Trout progressing towards return before All-Star break

Mother Nature stops Tim Tebow's St. Lucie debut

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

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

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

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