The Knicks and Bobcats kick off in about 20 minutes. Here are some things to watch for:
- The Knicks can’t let Boris Diaw dominate again. Last week’s loss to Charlotte was pitiful. Boris Diaw’s 27 point performance was even worse. Amar’e Stoudemire showed zero defensive energy trying to slow Diaw down, hence Diaw’s 12 for 15 performance shooting from the floor. Tonight, with Tyrus Thomas returning, Diaw will probably play a lot at the center position. If the Knicks are going to return the favor from last week, they will need to find a way, wether its Harrellson, Stoudemire or Chandler, to slow down Boris Diaw.
- What if Shumpert struggles? The Knicks showed a lot of great energy the last few game with Shumpert on the floor. I think his defensive energy is refreshing and provides a spark to the whole team. He has yet to play a poor douglas-esque game. This probably isn’t the game but I just want to know how Knick fans and the team will react when Shumpert truly struggles. I think tonight against Augustin and Kemba Walker, Shumpert could struggle a bit tonight because both opposing point guards are good players.
- Can Toney Douglas get his head on straight? Douglas has been a disaster so far this year. Now that he has been relegated to the bench, Douglas should begin to improve his play on both ends of the court. However, he struggled last game against Detroit and then hurt his shoulder. Hopefully Douglas can get on track because he can be an absolutely lethal 3 point shooter when he’s on. Even last game, the Knicks only shot 28.6% from beyond the arc. The Knicks need his shooting and he needs to get going.
- How will the Knicks defensive energy be tonight? Last week against Charlotte, the Knicks came out with absolutely no energy on defense and it showed. Tonight, I look for the Knicks to come out pissed and ready to go. I think the Knicks will play hard tonight on both ends and will pick up a win. If the Knicks defense sucks and is lazy, they could lose again to a Charlotte team that can score some points.