Friday, November 16, 2012



Memphis is for real.  The combination of Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, and ex-Knick Zach Randolph is a formidable trio.  They have depth up and down their bench.  The Knicks dominated the last 8 minutes of last night's game against a very good Spurs team and proved that (a) they have a chip on their shoulder & (b) they aren't afraid of adversity.  This will be another 48-minute battle where the Knicks can really make a statement.

The Knicks biggest challenge will be rebounding and defending the pain tonight.  Knick fans should know that Z-Bo is an extremely crafty scorer and an excellent offensive rebounder.  Marc Gasol has more girth than his older brother and can rebound and score in the paint.  We all know Tyson Chandler isn't going to back down, but the lack of depth behind him is in question right now.  This game is going to come down to Rasheed, Camby, and Kurt Thomas's ability (along with Chandler) to keep control of the paint.  They are going to get pounded inside and I am curious to see how they hold up after an exhausting effort like last night's.

I see Melo having a huge game tonight scoring the ball.  Despite being held under 10 points, I think he was extremely effective with "hockey-assists" and acting as a decoy last night.  Tony Allen may be the best defender in the NBA outside of LeBron and Dwight Howard, but Melo's ability to get on a roll on offense is uncanny.  I'm going out on a limb and saying Melo is going to have one of those nights where nobody on this planet can stop him.

Melo's ability to score inside and out is going to pose a huge problem for the Grizz.  If they double and triple-team Melo like San Antonio did, the Knicks will start launching 3s and have the personnel to make Memphis pay.  If not, I expect Melo to have a huge game.

I expect this game to come down to the wire, similar to last night's game and the previous game in Orlando.  The difference between this year and last is that we have Jason Kidd.  The Knicks were successful in the 4th quarter last year at times because Melo has the ability to take over games.

However, this year is different. With Felton playing off the ball at times, Jason Kidd can maintain the team's composure by slowing it down and spreading the ball around.  With Chandler in the middle, either Novak or Smith looking for a 3,and Melo drawing double teams, the Knicks can really do some damage in the slow half-court pace that is set at the end of these close, playoff-type games.

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