Warriors (W-L): 26-18
Knicks (W-L): 14-28
Time: 6:00pm PST
TV:FSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680
This is one of those games that scares me. Maybe it was the loss to the Timberwolves and the narrow win against New Jersey that now has me spooked, but I feel like the Warriors can't consistently put inferior teams away. They let them hang around until the end and the game is decided in the last minute. The last time the Warriors and Knicks played, it was a blowout and the birthplace of the "Fire Isaiah" chants. So why is this game going to be any different?
On the season, the Knicks have been awful, but they have won 5 of their last 7 including a 24 point win against Detroit. Also, they only lost to Boston by 16, not 45 like that last time they played. Zach Randolph is hitting the boards hard (or soft depending on how you look at it), Jamal Crawford is now the man averaging 21 on 45% shooting, and Nate Robinson is taking over as the PG averaging 30 minutes per game in January. Is it a coincidence that all of a sudden the team plays well when they learn that Stephon Marbury is likely done for the season? The first game he missed was the Detroit win after all.
Be sure to check out Atma's interview of Modi from Cosellout on the state of the Knicks, Isaiah Thomas, and more for a quick catchup on the New York situation.
Look out for...
- Jamal Crawford: He's certainly stepped up his game in the new year and led this team on a nice winning streak. He's their best player right now. Baron or Jax will probably match up with him and force others to score.
- Nate Robinson: I expect Monta to match up with Big Nate. This isn't the same Nate we saw last game, he's now playing 50% more minutes and giving Isaiah some solid PG play off the bench. Modi chimes in on his improvement in the interview with Atma.
- David Lee: He's all hustle out there on the glass. I heard he doesn't play much because every time he's out there, the opposing team attacks him because he's their weakest defender. When he plays I'll be looking out to see if one of Isaiah's "untouchables" is really untouchable.
- Quentin Richardson: If he starts shooting, cover your ears!
The Krispy Kreme Brothers
Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry. They're like 2 offensive lineman playing basketball - they don't know how to pass the ball, take up lots of space, will help you score, and most importantly, don't play defense. In the last game against the Warriors, these two were essentially the reason for the Knicks' losing. The Warriors' quickness simply confused the two of them. Much like when cartoon characters are dazed and confused, you could see the stars circling above the heads of these two as the Warriors double teamed them and then got in the passing lanes. It was certainly fun for the Warriors and their fans. If Isaiah learned anything from last game, he either will not put these two on the floor at the same time or has taught them how to find the open man. But if he's stubborn and plays these two together, it could be trouble because of their fatness (that's a real basketball term). They'll eat up space, clog the lane, and if they can make a move before the double team comes, may score a bunch of points.
Okay enough about the Knicks, what do the Warriors have to do?
The Warriors, simply put, have to play like the Warriors. The Knicks cannot score or run with the Warriors, so as long as the tempo remains up, there's no reason the Warriors won't win this. If this game starts to get into a half court love fest, watch out because Lee and Randolph will crash the boards hard. I don't expect this to get into a half court game because the Knicks just don't play good enough defense to slow down the Warriors. You'll see a lot of the same Warriors, Monta getting out on his 1 man fast breaks, Baron getting in the lane distributing, and Jax throwing up 3's. I think we'll see a lot more of Andris tonight on the pick and roll especially if one of the Krispy Kreme brothers is guarding him.
All in all, this game will be closer than it should be, but the Warriors are too good and the Knicks too bad. No "Fire Isaiah" chants tonight. I think those should be "Keep Isaiah" chants. After all, it's always better when the Knicks lose.
- This won't be a repeat of the blowout last game, but still the Warriors will win by 8
- Baron follows up his triple double with 25 points and 12 assists.
- Biedrins gets his own double double too
- The Warriors order up the Knicks' pre-game spread as only Krispy Kreme donuts.
- Randolph acts like he's in line at In n' Out and orders up a double double.