Last night, the New York Knickerbockers suffered a tough loss at home vs. the Chicago Bulls, who are currently the best team in the Eastern Conference. Tonight, they look to rebound against division rival Boston Celtics. Of course, this is a well-timed matchup considering in two days, the New York Football Giants will take on the New England Patriots in a little game called the Super Bowl (I’m sure the NBA schedule makers didn’t consider that, but it’s still funny nonetheless. And I have the Giants winning by a field goal. Momentum conquers all.)
Of course, you probably remember the last time the Knicks took on the Celtics as it only happened a little over a month ago. The Knicks led early but eventually then fell behind before Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks to a victory. Oh, and Kevin Garnett got away with putting his hands around Billy Walker‘s neck after the game concluded without a fine or suspension. That still marvels me to this day, but anyway, tonight will be an interesting matchup for the Knicks. Before the season started, many pictured these two duking it out for the Atlantic Division title but that’s yet to occur. The Knicks are basically in free-fall mode as they have gone 2-10 after a four game winning streak. The Celtics are 11-10 and have been fairly hot. After starting 5-9, the Celtics have gone 6-1. 2 of those wins include very impressive wins over the Magic in which they held them to a Celtics franchise-low 56 points and made a massive comeback in the second half to defeat them. Meanwhile, while these two currently sit in second and third place, the Philadelphia 76ers currently reside in first by 4.5 games.
In order for the Knicks to succeed tonight, they must cut down on turnovers and try to attack in the paint. Jermaine O’Neal is not the man who he used to be in Indiana so the Knicks need to take advantage of that. Also, Rajon Rondo is currently suffering from a sprained right wrist and has been out for Boston’s last eight games. However, according to Comcast SportsNet’s A. Sherrod Blakely, Rondo “will play and start tonight”. As you may recall, Rondo torched the Knicks on Christmas day with 31 points, 13 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals. Since he is playing, it’ll make a win over them sweeter than last time considering they didn’t have Paul Pierce on Christmas Day.
You can watch tonight’s game on MSG/ESPN at 8:00 PM EST or listen on the radio at ESPN 1050 AM.
Knicks news to be aware of:
1) Former Denver Nuggets PF Kenyon Martin signed with the Los Angeles Clippers today for $2.5 Million. K-Mart was on the Knicks’ list and word is that Carmelo Anthony urged the Knicks to sign him. He would have been a nice fit but there’s an even better former Denver Nugget coming from China soon: SG J.R. Smith. Smith would provide the Knicks not only a guard, which they desperately need, but a guy who can shoot threes as he is a career 37% shooter from 3-point land. If the Knicks can sign Smith and get decent production from Baron Davis, this could be a team that can go on an absolute tear through the standings.
2) New York Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony was named a starter for the Eastern Conference in the All Star Game. While it is a great honor to be named a starter, Carmelo should sit it out. He’s been nicked up and affected by injuries this season and the rest could only help.
3) The New York Knicks return to Madison Square Garden to take on Deron Williams and the Nets tomorrow night and face Deron’s former team, the Utah Jazz, on Monday night. This is a pivotal three game stretch for D’Antoni as rumors are swirling, more than ever, that his job is in great danger. If the Knicks lose tonight and both games at the Garden, they will fall to 8-17 and 9 games under .500. Can the Knicks turn things around after an improved performance vs. the Bulls? Tune in tonight to find out.