Current Standings - New York: 38-22, 2nd in the Eastern Conference (.5 games ahead of the Indiana Pacers), 1st in the Atlantic Division (Leading the Brooklyn Nets by 2.5 games) Golden State: 35-29, 6th in the Western Conference (13.5 games behind the San Antonio Spurs), 2nd in the Pacific Division (Trailing the Los Angeles Clippers by by 9 games)
Previous Meetings - Knicks won 109-105 at MSG just 12 days ago. Stephen Curry went off for 54 points.
What To Watch For - This is the first of a five game Western Conference road trip for the Knicks, who are 16-12 on the road this year. Carmelo Anthony is listed as probable and is expected to play. There’s no doubt that the Knicks have been game planning against Steph Curry for the last couple days. Last time these teams met he dropped 54 points and almost led his team to victory despite missing David Lee. A knee contusion kept Lee out Saturday night against Milwaukee but he will suit up tonight.
Injury Update – Golden State - David Lee (PF) is listed as Day-to-Day (Right Knee Contusion) – New York - Carmelo Anthony (SF) is listed Probable (Knee) Rasheed Wallace (PF) is out (Fractured Left Fifth Metatarsal) Amar’e Stoudemire (PF) is out (Right Knee Debridement)
Key Matchup - Iman Shumpert vs. Stephen Curry. We all know the damage he inflicted upon the Knicks last meeting and there’s no way Mike Woodson can let him even come close to matching that again. Shump has been getting some extra run the last couple games, including a season high 27-plus minutes last game, so if Steph starts heating up, it will be his responsibility to cool him down.
Knicks Win If – It obviously makes things easier if Melo plays, but after the beating they gave Utah on Saturday night without him, there’s no reason to think his absence makes the game impossible to win. Both the Knicks and Warriors average 100 points per game, but the Knicks only give up 95.8 while Golden State surrenders 101.4 each contest. If New York can get to 100 points, they should be able to get the victory.
Warriors Win If – They can jump out to an early lead and keep the crowd involved throughout the entire game. Golden State is 20-9 at home so far this season, including victories over Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Indiana, Brooklyn, Boston, and the Los Angeles Clippers twice. They play at a whole other level when defending their home court so if the Knicks spot them an early lead, they will find it difficult to climb back.