The 19-29 New York Knicks host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at Madison Square Garden. It still seems hard to fathom but with 48 games in the book, this is what they Knicks are: a bad basketball team on the cusp of firing their coach. They are also a bad home team, with an unexplainable 11-16 record at MSG. Will this be Mike Woodson’s final night coaching the team?
Portland has struggled as of late, particularly on the road. They’ve lost four straight, with a surprisingly high margin of defeat in many of their games. This is a team that is still 34-14 and that can score with the best teams in the NBA but their recent road woes have been head turning.
The Blazers are led by All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge who is having a terrific all-around season. He is currently averaging 24.3 PPG, 11.6 RPG with a gaudy 23.2 PER. Damian Lillard is having a strong sophomore season and is sure to be a nightmare for the Knicks backcourt tonight. Lillard is currently averaging 20.7 PPG and is shooting nearly 41% from 3 point range. He also boasts a 19.1 PER. Portland has a talented and deep roster surrounding their two stars, which is going to be more than a handful for the Knicks currently depleted roster to keep up with.
For the Knicks, there is the harsh reality of playing Portland tonight, Denver on Friday and Oklahoma City on Sunday. It would have seemed unfathomable before the season that the Knicks would crack 30 losses BEFORE the All-Star break but now that looks like exactly what will happen.
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