Knicks @ Nets Gameday

Scouting Report

Jonah Ballow


Knicks @ Nets 7:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM

Big Picture

New York: Improving to 5-0 following a loss under interim head coach Mike Woodson, the Knicks utilized a 3-point barrage to top Boston on Tuesday night. The big win lifted New York to a 32-29 overall record and the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings. After Philadelphia’s loss, the Knicks now own a one game lead on the Sixers and 2.5 games on top of Milwaukee. Only five games remain on New York’s schedule, including contests against New Jersey, Cleveland, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Charlotte. The only home game for the Knicks is a matchup against the Clippers on April 25. Shifting to injury news, Amar’e Stoudemire is close to a return after he participated in practice on Saturday afternoon. Woodson told reporters that Stoudemire will continue to test and evaluate his injured back with a chance he will play either on Friday or Sunday night.

New Jersey: The Nets are not only closing the curtains on their era in New Jersey but the 2011-12 season is just about over the squad with a 22-40 overall record. Deron Williams was sidelined in Monday’s loss to Miami, Gerald Wallace has missed four straight games, and Brook Lopez, Jordan Farmar, Keith Bogans, and Damion James are out for the season. New Jersey has suffered two consecutive losses but both defeats were a result of facing Boston and Miami during a brutal stretch of games to conclude the year. After hosing New York on Wednesday night, the Nets travel to Milwaukee, face Philadelphia at home, and then head to Toronto next Thursday evening for the season finale.

Last Time Out
New York: The Knicks blasted Boston in the first half and never looked back in a 118-100 victory at Madison Square Garden.

New Jersey: Despite fighting hard and holding a lead deep into the fourth quarter, the Nets fell at home 101-98 to the Heat on Monday night.

The Numbers Game
The Knicks are fresh off an incredible display of shooting on Tuesday night. Steve Novak and J.R. Smith led the way and New York finished 19-of-32 behind the arc against the Celtics.

Match-up to Watch
Carmelo Anthony vs. Kris Humphries

Carmelo Anthony is proving his worth during an incredible month filled with efficient scoring and clutch shooting. While moving to the power forward spot, Anthony has adjusted well, hitting buckets off hard drives to the rim, in the post, and with the use of his deadly jab-step jumper on the perimeter. He registered 43 against Chicago, 42 on Miami, and a triple-double over the Celtics last night. These are arguably the top three defensive teams in the league and they could simply not defend Anthony. Kris Humphries will have the pleasure of attempting to slow down the NBA’s best player in April just two days after squaring off against Chris Bosh. Offensively, Humphries has produced over his last couple of outings, including a 29-point performance on Monday night.

What to Look For
New Jersey thoroughly outplayed Miami on Monday and did not trail until the final 51 seconds when LeBron James took over. James scored 17 points over the last 4:48 to shock the home team but the effort and potential upset should serve notice to the visiting Knicks tonight. New York is feeling extremely confidence after the dominating win at MSG but the squad can’t step off the gas with the Sixers and Bucks chasing from behind. Nets head coach Avery Johnson will have his team prepared to fight hard and they feature an athletic lineup with rookie Marshon Brooks, high-flyer Gerald Green, and Humphries. The Knicks must build a big lead, dominate throughout the game, and provide some rest for the starters as they look to secure a playoff berth.

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