W2W4: Knicks @ Raptors

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
3:21
PM ET
Here are three things to watch for tonight in Toronto, where the Knicks go for their sixth straight win:

1.) CARMELO ANTHONY'S SHOOTING

It's one of the biggest questions: What's up with Anthony's shooting? It's been an issue for most of the season, specifically after he sprained his right wrist on Jan. 12 against the Grizzlies. After the Sixers game Wednesday night, he said he wasn't concerned with his shooting hand, but then dropped, "Maybe it's something minor." Let's see how Melo rebounds tonight after back-to-back 5-for-15 performances. While the Knicks have won five in a row, distributing the ball well and playing shutdown defense, his scoring will help the Knicks develop bigger leads in games.

2.) PICK-AND-ROLL DEFENSE

In the Knicks' last matchup with the Raptors on March 20, the Knicks played well throughout the game, but their best pick-and-roll defense came in the fourth quarter, suffocating Raptors point guard Jose Calderon and power forward Andrea Bargnani. Let's see if the Knicks can pick apart the Raptors' perimeter play earlier in the game, like they did against the Sixers Wednesday night. It's especially important because Calderon got hot in the first quarter against the Knicks in their first matchup on Feb. 14 in Toronto.

3.) LIN VS. CALDERON, PART II

The last time Jeremy Lin was in The Air Canada Centre on Feb. 14, he hit the game-winning three over Calderon. That was the height of Linsanity. Since then, Lin has been a big performer in the fourth quarter. Even against the Sixers, after shooting 1-for-11 midway through the third quarter, he scored 16 points in the final period, leading the Knicks to the victory.

According to ESPN.com's TrueHoop Blog, Lin has had "clutch swag" this season. "In the final five minutes of games within five points, Kobe Bryant's usage rate is a high 42.4. Lin's is close behind, at 36.6 -- higher than, say, Chris Paul's 33.9, and in the same range as Kevin Durant (40.1) and Carmelo Anthony (43.5). You might say that's heady stuff for a player whose coach keeps reminding people is effectively a rookie.

"But also worth noting is that in these short minutes -- Lin has played just 39 that qualify -- he has had the best true shooting percentage of the bunch. He has taken 24 shots in 39 crunch time minutes, and hit only nine of them. The secret to his efficiency has been that he has made three of his five 3-pointers, while getting to the line an impressive 18 times, while missing just two. The result is a true shooting percentage (a measure that accounts for 3s and free throws) of 58, compared to Paul's 57.2, Durant's 53.8, Anthony's 43.5 and Bryant's 42.7."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2