The Knicks host the Orlando Magic today in their annual Martin Luther King Day game. Tipoff is set for 1:00 pm. Here are five storylines for the game:
Carmelo Anthony missed the last game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a sprained right ankle. His status for today is unclear. Anthony may not be 100%, but I think he will play at some point in this annual classic.
Shump Shump Shooting
Rookie Iman Shumpert has played extremely well for the Knicks this season. But Shump has shot just 26% (8 out of 30) in his last two games. Maybe overconfidence is starting to be a problem?
Chandler vs. Howard
The Knicks will have their hands full against Magic center Dwight Howard. Howard is averaging 20.5 points and 15.2 rebounds a game this season. He is hitting 58.6% of his shots. The defensive task is largely up to Knicks center Tyson Chandler. Chandler has truly strengthened the interior defense. This battle alone will be worth the price of admission.
Defensive Efficiency vs. Offensive Power
The Knicks are currently eighth in the league in defensive efficiency. You heard it right. The Knicks are playing defense this season. But they have a tough task ahead of them. The Magic are second in the league in three-point percentage at 40.9%. They are also making the most three-pointers per game (10). The Knicks are second-worst in defending the three.
End of Two Streaks?
There are two streaks on the line today. The Magic come in on a three-game winning streak. The Knicks have dropped their last two. It would be nice to see both of these streaks end today.
Enjoy the game! It should be a good one, I hope.
Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more Knicks coverage, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.