Wednesday, March 28, 2012
W2W4: Knicks vs. Magic
By Ian Begley
The Knicks enter play Wednesday two games ahead of the Bucks for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They will play ten of their final 16 games against teams over .500, beginning Wednesday night against Orlando.
Here are a few things to watch:
MORE MINUTES FOR TONEY? With Jeremy Lin out for the second straight game with a sore left knee, Baron Davis will start.
Davis had an uneven performance in place of Lin during Monday's win over Milwaukee, scoring 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting with seven assists and nine turnovers in 34 minutes.
Mike Woodson said Davis can't handle playing 30-plus minutes on Wednesday, so he will turn to Mike Bibby and seldom-used Toney Douglas to spell the veteran.
Douglas has played just seven minutes in the past five weeks.
"Mike and Toney will play a bigger role now in terms of trying to lighten up (Davis') minutes," Woodson said on Wednesday. "It's hard to try to play three point guards but I've got to try to figure that out as a coach as we go along."
ALL ON MELO? With Lin out and Amare Stoudemire sidelined for at least two weeks, the ball will likely be in Carmelo Anthony's hands a lot on Wednesday night. And he's just fine with that.
"I just want to step up," Anthony said on Wednesday. "That’s it. I got to take on that responsibility to try and win these basketball games. I’ve been in situations like this before: must wins, people hurt, people injured, sitting out. Some games we won. Some games we lost."
The Knicks won on Monday thanks in part to 28 points from Anthony. He's averaging 28.6 points lifetime against the Magic -- his best versus any team except the 29.9 he averaged against the Knicks while with Denver.
DEFENSE UNDER WOODY: In eight games under Woodson, the Knicks are allowing 89 points per 100 possessions. In Mike D'Antoni's last 10 games, they gave up 103, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
New York will have its hands full against Orlando on Wednesday.
The Magic scored a season-high 117 points in a win over Toronto on Monday. Ryan Anderson torched the Knicks for 30 points in Orlando's win at the Garden on Jan. 16. The Knicks held Dwight Howard to eight points that afternoon, 13 below his season average.