Tonight, The New York Knicks will continue their push to obtain the 6th seed in the playoffs as they face the LA Clippers at MSG. Knicks’ fans, however, will also be doubling as Bobcats fans since we need the ‘Cats to grab that elusive 8th win against Orlando, in order to keep our 6th-seed dreams alive. Also, the Knicks will be looking to continue this positive momentum going into the playoffs.
Here’s what to watch for:
- Shump v. Chris Paul. This will be one of, if not, the toughest tasks of Iman Shumpert’s young career. Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the NBA and almost un-guardable, while Shump is one of the stingiest perimeter defenders in the league. One saving grace for the New York Knicks in this matchup is that Chris Paul sustained a mild groin strain in the midst of a loss to Atlanta last night so hopefully that, along with Shumpert, can slow him down.
- The potential of the Carmelo-Amare tandem was put on display against the Hawks on Sunday and they will surely be looking to keep this momentum going. Melo should thrive against the Clippers as he tries to continue the incredible scoring run he has been on in the month of April. Amare has also played well in the couple games he’s been back and the Knicks will be looking to him for scoring, rebounding and most importantly, slowing down Blake Griffin, which is no easy task.
- With how Baron Davis played in the Knicks’ last game (13 pts 10 ast), Mike Woodson is likely to start him against the Clippers. Baron is going to have cut down on the turnovers because the Clippers WILL capitalize on his mistakes. Chris Paul is always among the league leaders in steals per game every season so that causes some worries for Knicks fans who have seen how often Baron turns it over.
- DEFENSE. The Knicks are going to have to play extremely hard defensively but they will have to play just as smart as they do hard. Playing smart defensively is the best way they can combat the antics of “Flop City.” Along with that, Amare has got to step up defensively so Blake Griffin does not single-handedly destroy the Knicks 6th-seed aspirations. Also, guys like Landry Fields are going to have to limit the scoring of the rest of the team, including guys like Caron Butler and Randy Foye who can each go for 20 points if given the opportunity by the opposing defense