Not so fierce
After an ugly but encouraging win against the upstart 76ers, the Knicks travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum tonight. The Knicks are catching the Grizzlies at a good time. Despite emerging as a playoff darling last spring, they have struggled to recapture that magic in the early going and have since lost leading scorer Zach Randolph for two months (I thought he was going to be a steal for 12 dollars in my fantasy auction, but alas, not so). The Knicks are thus well-positioned to take this one, and in doing so, extend their winning streak to five games. I have to admit, the last clause of that last sentence felt very strange to write.
But before Knicks fans get too confident, a closer look at their respective schedules show how misleading their records can be to date. Memphis’ strength of schedule is sixth overall, with recent losses coming at the hands of the Lakers, the Thunder twice, the Bulls (in embarrassing fashion on New Years Day), and a youthful, better-than-expected Utah squad. The Grizzlies have won every game they should have. Meanwhile, the Knicks continue to benefit from the league’s weakest schedule. On the second night of a back to back I hope we don’t get caught tired, or looking ahead to a tough match-up in OKC this Saturday. These are the kind of games the Knicks need to prove that they can win.
Key match-up: Has to be Melo-Gay on the wing. I agree with everything AC said about Melo and hope he plays within the offense a bit more. Gay’s athleticism should be a challenge, hope he can be contained.