New York’s March schedule hasn’t ben overly challenging, but they conquered the hardest part of it on Wednesday with a win over the Pacers. Tonight’s opponent poses much less of a threat, but it’s no time for a letdown.
The Sixers have now lost a franchise record 22 consecutive games, but the Knicks haven’t treated them like the pushovers that they’re supposed to be in their three other matchups this season. In the last meeting between these two teams, which came just 11 days ago, it took New York almost three and a half quarters to put the lowly 76ers away. For whatever reason, Philadelphia has a quiet confidence with the Knicks, and to be quite frank, this scares the living daylights out of me. It’s worth noting that more than 50% of Philadelphia’s wins have come at home. It’s dually worth noting that they’ve won only 15 games.
This one’s set up to be a trap game. The win over Indiana was the only time the Knicks played an opponent over .500 in their last five games, and was probably the pinnacle of their roller coaster season thus far. With the team playing so well, and nothing but positive vibes coming from the city (plus it was 55 degrees yesterday!), the Knicks will need to come out firing. They’ve put together some terrific, start-to-finish victories over their current seven-game winning streak, and they can’t allow the Sixers even the slightest glimmer of hope.
The last time these two met, Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with a 23-point, 13-rebound, and 10-assist triple-double. We can expect to see more of the same from the Rookie of the Year to be tonight, but as long as the Knicks keep Thaddeus Young under wraps, there aren’t too many other offensive weapons that can hurt them. With Young kept in check, Carmelo Anthony and crew should be able to outscore the Sixers, even if their defense isn’t at it’s best. Tyson Chandler missed the last game between these teams, so it shouldn’t be as easy as it was last time for Philadelphia to get easy buckets in the paint.
With four games separating the seventh-seeded Bobcats, the eighth-seeded Hawks, and the ninth-seeded Knicks, it’s time to keep your eye on the out of town scoreboard. Charlotte has the night off, but Atlanta will be hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. We’re usually supposed to fear the brow, but tonight, all of Knicks nation will embrace him. New York tips off at 7:00 p.m. As always, TOK will have you covered.