New York Knicks (2-5)
Los Angeles Lakers (3-4)
Wednesday, November 16th
Knicks @ Jazz 73-62 (WIN) Box Score
Lakers @ Memphis 85-73 (LOSS) Box Score
Projected Starting Five
Coach Larry Brown
C - Eddy Curry (13.7 PPG on 47% shooting, 7.6 RPG, 0.4 APG)
PF - Busta Rhymes (3.6 PPG on 27% shooting, 6.1 RPG, 0.9 APG)
SF - Matt Barnes (4.8 PPG on 36% shooting, 4.6 RPG, 1.2 APG)
SG - Quentin Richardson (8.4 PPG on 39% shooting, 4.1 RPG, 1.4 APG)
PG - Stephon Marbury (16.9 PPG on 47% shooting, 3.6 RPG, 5.1 APG)
Coach Phil Jackson
C - Chris Mihm (9.3 PPG on 51% shooting, 5.6 RPG, 1.1 APG)
PF - Kwame Brown (6.4 PPG on 40% shooting, 6.1 RPG, 0.6 APG)
SF - Lamar Odom (14.6 PPG on 40% shooting, 9.7 RPG, 5.0 APG)
SG - Kobe Bryant (29.9 PPG on 46% shooting, 5.6 RPG, 4.6 APG)
PG - Smush Parker (13.0 PPG on 50% shooting, 3.3 RPG, 3.1 APG)
Predicted Stats: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Predicted Stats: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Who Got Game?
Predicted Stats: 24 points on 45% shooting, 2 rebounds, 7 assists
Predicted Stats: 32 points on 52% shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Finally...we have ran into our stretch of five home games. Around this time last week, I would've been excited to play the Knicks. Today, I'm not feeling it. The Knicks have won two straight and are playing better defensively, holding the Jazz to 62 points. That's Larry Brown for you. Speaking of Brown, this game will feature two of the best coaches in the NBA in Brown and Phil Jackson, and it could be the "matchup of the night." For the first time since the 2004 NBA Finals, Brown and Jackson have a seat and coach their teams against one another; Kobe and Marbury, Odom and Curry...should be an exciting game.
Guess what, Chris Mihm? We expect an above-average game from you tonight. We're in Los Angeles. Scratch that: we're going to NEED an above-average game from you. If you see Kwame anywhere, tell him the same. The league hasn't seen much from the other bigs in New York (Taylor, Frye, Malik, and Davis), but these guys will be crashing the boards against our two bigs. We do have Odom, who will clean the glass for double-digits tonight, but that won't be enough, especially if Kobe is still feeling his injury. The offensive glass could be a killer for the Lakers, but could swing both ways; easy for Curry to chip in a few from it, but as far as rebounding goes, Kobe gets nearly as many boards as Eddy.
Good thing I brought up Kobe, because tonight's game should feature our very own, number eight. The Knicks' lineup is more of a "pick and roll with it" than an accurate starting five, but if Larry Brown puts Quentin Richardson on Kobe, expect a 30+ point night (that is, unless the hand is still bothering him). Any other day, Kobe would drop 40 on Q-Rich. Likewise, if Quentin finds Odom staring him down instead, Odom could collect himself a triple-double. Don't be surprised to see a backcourt of Marbury and Crawford, with Barnes at the three, if Richardson is abused early.
A problem that the Lakers may face is crowd support...as in, none...if they blow any early leads or go into the locker rooms at the half in a huge slump. The fans in Los Angeles can, and will, boo the purple and gold off the court if they show signs of wear and tear early against the Knicks, and this could definitely hurt their game. Hopefully this isn't the case, and the Lakers keep their composure for 48 minutes on the court.
The Knicks are on a two-game win streak. On the other hand, Los Angeles has lost three straight. Don't count on a fourth. The Lakers win this one at home, 87-81.