Knicks @ Grizzlies – FedExForum
When: Friday | 9:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG Networks
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York: The Knicks are proving their unblemished record is no joke. On Thursday night, the squad fought from 12 points down to shock the Spurs on their home floor. At 6-0, New York owns the top spot in the NBA standings and now the team is chasing franchise history. The last time the Knicks reached the 7-0 mark was the 1993-94 season, the same year they reached the NBA Finals. Ronnie Brewer played 18 minutes despite some knee swelling after the game in Orlando. New York is healthy at all other positions while it waits for Iman Shumpert (knee) and Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) to complete their rehab sessions.
Memphis: The only major change for the Grizzlies heading into the 2012-13 season was at the shooting guard spot. O.J. Mayo is now in Dallas and Memphis added guards Jerryd Bayless, Tony Wroten, and Wayne Ellington. Obviously, there is a common theme to these acquisitions as the Grizzlies searched for depth in the backcourt to join an extremely talented frontcourt featuring Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol. Randolph is back at full strength and Memphis will receive help from Darrell Arthur off the bench. Behind a 6-1 start, the Grizzlies are an elite team and considered a legit threat to reach the Western Conference Finals.
Last Time Out
New York: The Knicks blasted the Spurs in the fourth quarter, closing on a 27-11 run and securing a 100-104 win on Thursday night.
Memphis: The Grizzlies took care of business in a tough arena by defeating the Thunder 107-97 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
The Numbers Game
The Knicks are shooting lights out from the 3-point line this season. By hitting 42.6 percent of its attempts, New York ranks No. 1 in the league and the squad is fresh off a game in which it drilled 44 percent against the Spurs.
Match-up to Watch
Knicks Frontcourt vs. Grizzlies Frontcourt
Memphis boasts one of the most intimidating frontlines in basketball behind Gay, Randolph, and Gasol. Gay is a super athletic wing player that likes to work in transition and launch deep perimeter shots. Randolph utilizes his big body in the paint while working under the rim for most of his buckets. Finally, Gasol is talented like his brother but with a bigger frame to back down his opponents on the block. Head coach Mike Woodson told reporters on Thursday that he will most likely start the smaller frontcourt, featuring Carmelo Anthony at the power forward spot. To date, this frontcourt matchup will be the most difficult challenge for the Knicks Bigs this year.
What to Look For
Leapfrogging on the previous section,New York must limit the impact of the Grizzlies big men. The trio of Gay, Randolph, and Gasol combine to average 51.5 points per game. On the opposite side, the Knicks can utilize their speed and agility to blow past the Memphis frontline players and put them in early foul trouble. Another aspect to watch in Friday’s game is the energy from New York as it enters the first back-to-back of the season. Raymond Felton was drained after the win in San Antonio and it will be interesting to see if the Knicks can muster enough juice to improve to 7-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season.