Knicks @ Mavericks 8:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM
New York: After Sunday’s loss in Boston, the Knicks understand they let a golden opportunity slip through their hands. New York did not step on the throat of its arch rival and some significant time in the film room reminded the squad of the necessary steps to improve on the current crucial road trip. With a contest against the defending champs on Tuesday and a difficult matchup in San Antonio the following night, the Knicks are focused on racking up victories while moving up from the eighth spot in the East.
Dallas: The Mavericks won six straight games before suffering a seven-point loss to the Knicks on February 19. Since that defeat, Dallas has lost five of its last seven games, including a narrow defeat to Oklahoma City on Monday night. At 22-17, the Mavericks slipped to just 8-10 on the road and are now in the midst of a tight battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference. As of Monday, only 2.5 games separate Denver at No. 8 and the Lakers at No. 4 while Dallas sits at No. 6 heading into the matchup against New York.
Last Time Out
New York: In an overtime thriller, the Knicks were dropped 115-111 in Boston despite 25 points from Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler’s 14 boards.
Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points but the Mavericks fell to Oklahoma City 95-91 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Numbers Game
In the first meeting between the two teams, Jeremy Lin posted a monster box score with 28 points, 14 assists, five steals, four rebounds, and a block shot.
Match-up to Watch
Knicks Bench vs. Mavericks Bench
New York’s bench has performed at a high level since the acquisition of J.R. Smith, the return of Baron Davis, and the sudden offensive explosion of Steve Novak. Not to mention, the rock solid defensive effort from Jared Jeffries on a nightly basis. Against Boston, the Knicks second unit combined for 45 points just one game after registering 50 in the win over Cleveland. On Tuesday night, New York will face a stiff test on the other side of the floor as Dallas’ bench averages 41.4 points per game, featuring potent scorers Jason Terry, Rodrique Beaubois, and at times Lamar Odom.
What to Look For
Chandler could be the X-Factor in this final matchup between the two teams. The big man was the catalyst to the Mavericks impressive run to the title last season and on Monday night, he will receive the championship ring. In what expects to be a standing ovation for the defensive specialist, Chandler will be amped up to top his former squad on their home floor.
New York must execute in its half court sets while facing the No. 4 ranked team in the league in points allowed per game. Dallas is an elite defensive group that will be focused on rebounding from a loss on Monday and avenging the defeat at Madison Square Garden less than a month ago.