By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
Knicks vs. Raptors | Madison Square Garden
When: Saturday | 7:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG Networks
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York: Just like that, the Knicks have won three in a row. Carmelo Anthony is back and looking like he's experiencing no lingering effects of a knee injury that kept him out for more than three games. They clinched a playoff spot with their win last night, and will now spend the next 15 games jockeying for playoff position. Right now, they are in third place in the Eastern Conference, a game and a half ahead of the Nets and a game behind the Pacers.
Toronto: Last night, the Raptors fell to 10-13 since the Rudy Gay trade, and may have lost Gay himself in the process. The small forward left the game with a "jammed back" and did not return. In 14 minutes, he had scored four points and was shooting 2-of-7 from the field. DeMar DeRozan caught fire during one stretch on his way to 18 points, but Alan Anderson was the star of the night, scoring 35 points on 18 shots.
Last Time Out
New York: Anderson's 35 points kept Toronto in the game, but the Knicks sunk just enough free throws down the stretch to win, 99-94.
Toronto: See above.
The Numbers Game
J.R. Smith's commitment to attacking the hoop continued tonight, as he got to the line seven more times.
Matchup to Watch
Jason Kidd vs. Alan Anderson
When defender after defender failed to stop Anderson from getting buckets, Kidd was the one who stepped up and asked for the challenge. He's been leaned on as a defensive stopper at different points in his career, and the competitive fire in him said "enough is enough" last night. Anderson's 35 were a career high, so the odds are that he won't go off like that again. But if he does, let's see how quickly Woodson taps Kidd to defend him.
What to Look For
Mike Woodson went with a starting lineup of Felton-Prigioni-Shumpert-Anthony-Martin last night for the second straight game, so we'll see if that continues tonight. Prigioni's impact is apparent the entire time he's in the game, as he picks up his man with full court pressure and has a real knack for getting the ball moving on offense. Raymond Felton and Kenyon Martin really shined down the stretch last night, and it will be interesting to see if their success in the pick-and-roll can continue.