New York Knicks v Toronto Raptors

Nice defence, Alan

The Raptors look to start a new streak tonight against a Knicks team surely looking for revenge.

Start time: 7:00 PM ET
Channel: TSN2

Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Landry Fields, Jonas Valanciunas (Fields played Carmelo well the last time these two teams met up, and I’d like to see the Raptors try using Landry again)
New York: Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler

Injury report
Toronto: Linas Kleiza is out
New York: Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace and Baron Davis are all out

Random Thoughts:

  • When these two teams met up in New York before the All-Star break, Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay combined to shoot 9-of-45 while watching players like Alan Anderson and John Lucas III take over. I’m expecting Gay to break out of his funk tonight and Carmelo to look more like Carmelo. At the very least, they have to be better than they were in last week’s matchup, right?
  • If you recall, the other matchup I was really looking forward to watching last week was Jonas Valanciunas vs. Tyson Chandler, since Chandler was one of the players Valanciunas is most compared to in scouting reports. Here’s hoping we get to see that matchup a little more tonight.
  • As mentioned above, Landry Fields got the start last week to combat the Knicks’ super small-ball lineup and to guard Anthony, and I assume that is what’s on tap tonight. Again, the New York basically starts Anthony and Chandler with three point guards.
  • The Knicks have lost four of five and three in a row, capped off by an embarrassing performance in a 34-point loss at Indiana two nights ago. At some point, good teams say enough is enough and come out looking to punish the next weak team on their schedule. I’m still not convinced this Knicks team is all that good (Since starting 18-5, New York is just 14-14), but if they are, they could look to make a statement tonight in Toronto as a way to break out of this slump. As for the Raptors, beating the Knicks for the second time in 10 days and avoiding back-to-back losses for the first time in two weeks would be a statement of their own. I’m looking forward to another great atmosphere and likely sell-out inside the ACC.