Knicks vs. Nets 7:30 PM – Madison Square Garden
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM
Both teams made some roster adjustments to their respective rosters since the last time the two teams met on December 17 in New Jersey. The Knicks acquired guard Baron Davis to help bolster their backcourt. The former Cavaliers point man will need time to rehab his injured back but he hopes to make an impact when healthy. On the opposite side, the Nets waived guards Jerry Smith and JamesOn Curry on Tuesday. New Jersey also came to terms with free agent Kris Humphries, who averaged a career-best 10 points and 10.4 rebounds last season.
Last Time Out
The Knicks streaked past the Nets 92-83 with a fourth quarter surge last Saturday afternoon. While no starter played more than 30 minutes, Carmelo Anthony finished with 17 points and Amar’e Stoudemire scored 10 and grabbed six boards. The story of the game was the impressive play of the New York bench, which produced 49 of the team’s 92 total points. Renaldo Balkman posted 20 points in 22 minutes and rookie Iman Shumpert dropped 16 points in his NBA debut.
The Numbers Game
The Knicks recorded 11 steals on Saturday in the win against the Nets along with forcing 25 New Jersey turnovers.
Match-up to Watch
Toney Douglas vs. Deron Williams
Deron Williams turned in a fairly pedestrian performance by his standards with nine points in 27 minutes on Saturday. Uncharacteristically, Williams committed six turnovers in the loss and one would assume the All-Star point guard will look to produce at a high level with the season opener just around the corner. Douglas has displayed tremendous work ethic throughout training camp and he is showing an ability to lead the Knicks from the point guard spot. Head coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed he will start at point guard tonight, which should provide a great opportunity to defend one of the elite point guards in the league in preparation for a matchup against Rajon Rondo in Sunday’s season opener.
What to Look For
Teams are attempting to gauge their level of preparation with only two dress rehearsals before a grueling regular season begins on Sunday. At Wednesday’s practice, D’Antoni explained the approach for tonight’s matchup against New Jersey, “We’re just trying to iron out the wrinkles and keep going and trying to improve.”