The Knicks are at home tonight against the No. 1 ranked, 76ers by ESPN’s John Hollinger. Though that ranking has caused some to snicker because of a perceived-easy schedule, it should be noted that the Sixers have won 5 of their first 9 games by 20 points or more. So they are doing what they are supposed to. Doug Collins seems to have very good control over the players, they play hard and listen, they defend, and they are deep. So the Knicks will have their hands full.
"The Knicks displaying Matador D, folks."
The Sixers’ biggest weakness is in the frontcourt where they lack depth. If the Knicks can get Amar’e or Chandler the ball going toward the basket early, things will open up. Foul trouble for Hawes or Brand, who historically kills the Knicks, would be a good thing.
Tonight also marks the return of former/disgraced Knick Malik Rose to the Garden – now as a Sixers broadcaster. I have watched a few Sixers games this year, and must say that Rose makes Eric Snow look like Howard Cosell. It makes you appreciate Clyde more and more. And speaking of Clyde, rumor has it that he could be Twitter’s newest sensation. Frankly, it doesn’t mean much to me unless I can hear him speak his tweets. And by the way I think I just invented a new twitter feature.
Match-up to watch tonight: Iguodala on Carmelo. Iguodala is lauded by many as one of the league’s best defenders. And that reputation is well-deserved. You would think Carmelo’s strength would pose problems for Iguodala. However, Carmelo has put up pedestrian numbers (for him) against PHI over the last three seasons (’10: 21.5ppg, 42%FG; ’09: 14.0 ppg; 24%FG; ’08: 24.0 ppg; 42%)
Tonight’s game will be won at the end/beginning of quarters two and three while volume shooters, Carmelo and Amar’e rest up. Can the Knicks’ second team stay with the Sixers second team? Let’s hope so, and let’s hope Knicks fans lay off TD tonight; we’ll need him.
UPDATE: Spencer Hawes will sit out tonight’s game with back spasms. Enter Tony Battie. Yes, that Tony Battie. From 100 years ago.