Knicks @ Lakers 10:30 PM – Staples Center
Where to Watch: TNT
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM
Fans in LaLa land have grown accustomed to competing for championships with a roster filled with stars and a legendary coach stalking the sidelines. Change is hard to accept, especially when the Lakers have unexpectedly started the season 1-2 in their first three outings. Phil Jackson decided to hang up his blazer and the Los Angeles front office decided to hire former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown. Additionally, Lamar Odom was shipped to Dallas after he captured a Sixth Man of the Year award last season. The drama continued just before the season opener as the Clippers snatched Chris Paul after the NBA declined a trade that would have sent the All-Star point guard to the Lakers. Los Angeles acquired Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, and Jason Kapono to a squad that was eliminated in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
Last Time Out
New York suffered through a difficult second half in a 92-78 loss to Golden State last night. Amar’e Stoudmire posted 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Knicks first defeat of the year.
The Lakers bounced back on Tuesday night in their third straight game after falling to the Bulls and Kings in consecutive nights. Kobe Bryant led the way with 26 points as Los Angeles dismantled the Jazz 96-71 in front of the Staples Center crowd. Pau Gasol added 22 points in the Lakers victory to go along with Metta World Peace’s 14.
The Numbers Game
This is the first of 21 back-to-back sets (first of six away-away) the Knicks will play this season.
Match-up to Watch
Carmelo Anthony vs. Metta World Peace
All eyes focus on Bryant whenever he is on the floor. However, the Knicks superstar will look to shine on the big stage after being held to just 13 points against the Warriors. Anthony will square off against one of the premier defenders in the league – World Peace aka Ron Artest. This is the exact reason why this particular matchup stands out in a game that features several All-Stars.
What to Look For
A battle between East Coast and West Coast will collide in Los Angeles as the Knicks make their lone trip to the Staples Center this year. New York expects to show a better effort on both ends of the floor and will search to snatch its first road victory of the season. The offensive flow must improve against a Lakers squad that possesses a defensive minded coach in Brown. Los Angeles is only allowing 86.3 points per game and limiting opponents to just 39.4 percent shooting from the floor. The Knicks will also look to exploit a Lakers team that is missing its anchor in the paint as 7-foot center Andrew Bynum servies the final game of his suspension from last season's hit on JJ Barrea
Knicks assistant Mike Woodson has the scouting duties for the matchup and provides this key to the game, “You almost have to play a perfect game against the Lakers because they are going to be there for 48 minutes. You have to defend and try to keep Kobe in-check, where he is not going off for big numbers. Gasol is capable of having a big night as well. We just have to play a balanced game on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end. I think you win most of your games on the road by defending and not turning the basketball over and that’s what we have to do in order to come out of LA with a big win.”