Wednesday, March 27, 2013
W2W4: Knicks vs. Grizzlies
By Ian Begley
Everyone is focused on the Miami Heat's monumental 27-game winning streak. But the Knicks, quietly, have put together an impressive streak of their own.
New York has won five straight and can make it six in a row Wednesday night, when the Knicks take on a tough Memphis team at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks last won six straight to start the season, before losing to Memphis on Nov. 16.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Here are a few things to watch:
BAD BLOOD? The Knicks-Grizzlies game in November was filled with minor skirmishes that left the Knicks upset.
J.R. Smith received a technical when he got into it with Jerryd Bayless, and Mike Woodson picked up a T for arguing calls in the third quarter. None of the Knicks seemed to be happy with the refs or the Grizzlies after the game.
The Knicks have shown throughout the season that they can let refs and opponents get under their skin. Will they let it happen again Wednesday?
Even though the first game with Memphis was more than four months ago, it's fair to wonder if some of the bad blood lingers. Rasheed Wallace seemed to speak for the entire team when he said of the Grizzlies, "They've still got to come to the Garden."
BANGED UP: Both teams will likely take the floor less than 100 percent healthy.
Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will not be available, due to an abdominal injury. Knicks center Tyson Chandler told reporters he's probably going to miss the game due to a lingering neck injury.
This will be the second straight game that the Knicks will face a team without its top big man. On Tuesday, against a Celtics team without Kevin Garnett, the Knicks scored a season-high 50 points five feet from the rim or closer.
The Knicks, by the way, are 5-2 without Chandler.
BOOST FROM THE BENCH: The Knicks are 10-6 in the second game of back-to-backs. One reason for that success is their strong bench, which averages 40.8 points per game, the second-best mark in the NBA. Smith led the way for the reserves with 32 points against Boston.