The New York Knicks look to extend their winning streak to six tonight when the Memphis Grizzlies come to Madison Square Garden. Here is what to watch for
Current Standings – New York: 43-26, 2nd in the Eastern Conference (12.5 games behind Miami, 1st in Atlantic Division (2.5 games ahead of Brooklyn). Memphis: 47-23, 5th in Western Conference (.5 games behind Los Angeles Clippers)
Injury Update – New York: Rasheed Wallace (out, foot), Amare Stoudemire (out, knee), Tyson Chandler (questionable, knee/neck), Kurt Thomas (out, foot) Memphis: Marc Gasol (out, stomach)
Previous Meeting - The Knicks suffered their first loss of the season after a 6-0 start at the hands of Memphis, 105-95 way back on November 16th…shattering the Knicks completely realistic hopes of a perfect season.
What’s at Stake – New York is still battling for seeding towards the top of the Eastern Conference and trying to hold off the Brooklyn Nets from catching them in the Atlantic Division. Memphis could swing anywhere from a 3-5 seed in the Western Conference depending on how they finish out. The Grizzlies have lost 2 of their last 3, with both losses coming against weak competition (New Orleans and Washington), so they are still adjusting to life without Marc Gasol.
For the Knicks it’d be nice to grab a victory against a serious contender on this winning streak. A win tonight also makes the chance of their current streak running to 8 a reality with Charlotte and the KG-less Celtics coming to town for the next two games. Miami’s streak be damned for next Tuesday, Knicks could be at 8 games!
Key Matchup – Zach Randolph is back…memories of the good times at Madison Square Garden! Z-Bo is always a handful down low and will provide a serious challenge for the Tyson Chandler-less Knicks who will need another big night out of Kenyon Martin and maybe some quality minutes out of Marcus Camby. Mike Conley Jr can also be a handful and is a catalyst for everything Memphis does on offense. The Knicks need quality minutes and defense from all three of their point guards, and likely a little more scoring from them than they received last night. Memphis is a tough defensive squad, so good ball movement and shot selection is a must.
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