Knicks vs. Bobcats 7:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM
The Knicks return home after capturing back-to-back wins on the last road trip in Washington and Detroit. One of the developing story lines is the emergence of rookie Iman Shumpert, who received his first start of the season on Saturday against Detroit. Shumpert has displayed maturity while running the show and injected life into the Knicks offense. After sub-par performances at Madison Square Garden last week, New York averaged 101 points per game on the road and moved back to .500 at 4-4 on the season. A couple of injury concerns for the Knicks with Toney Douglas dealing with a sore shoulder and Carmelo Anthony battling a sore lower back.
Following the Bobcats 118-110 win in the Garden last Wednesday night, Charlotte fell in consecutive nights to the Hawks and Pacers. Indiana blew out the Bobcats by 22 points as they dropped to 2-6 this year.
Last Time Out
The Knicks seized control of Saturday’s contest in the second quarter by blitzing Detroit 39-19 en route to a 103-80 road win.
Charlotte only shot 32.6 percent from the floor and 66.7 percent at the charity stripe in a Saturday loss to Indiana. The second half was especially troublesome for the Bobcats as the team only compiled 28 total points.
The Numbers Game
On Saturday night, the Knick dominated near the rim, scoring 50 points in the paint behind the penetration of Shumpert and the finishing buckets from Anthony and Stoudemire.
Match-up to Watch
Amar’e Stoudemire vs. Boris Diaw
In the previous matchup against the Bobcats, Diaw was nearly flawless with 27 points on 12-for-15 shooting from the floor and 3-for-3 behind the arc. The scoring outburst was unexpected considering his previous high for the season was 16 points and Diaw was held scoreless the night before facing the Knicks. Most of his buckets were a result of open jumpers on the perimeter. On the opposite side, Stoudemire will be counted on to defend Diaw and remain aggressive from an offensive standpoint. The New York power forward has also adjusted his approach by catching the rock and immediately curling to the rim for a power move in the paint. Look for Stoudemire to initiate the offense as opposed to receiving the ball and spending several seconds setting up his defender for an off-the-dribble move.
What to Look For
Shumpert has certainly changed the complexion of the Knicks lineup. While Douglas will continue to play a pivotal role, the 21-year old rookie is a difficult matchup for the opposition and watch for his impact on Monday night. New York must force Charlotte to shoot difficult perimeter shots and limit Diaw, Gerald Henderson, and point guard D.J. Augustin. The Bobcats rank in the top five in rebounds per game, which puts pressure on the Knicks frontcourt to take control on the glass and find second chance scoring opportunities as seen in Saturday’s win over Detroit.