Friday, January 3, 2014
W2W4: Knicks at Rockets
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight's Knicks-Rockets game:
Knick'd up: The Rockets have dominated the Knicks in recent seasons. They've won 16 of the past 17 meetings between the two teams, including eight straight at home, according to STATS, LLC.
But if (very) recent history is any indication, the Knicks could buck that trend tonight.
New York is coming off their most impressive win of the season. On Thursday, Mike Woodson's club topped the San Antonio Spurs on the road. A healthy Carmelo Anthony was a driving force behind the Knicks' success. Anthony had 27 points, 12 rebounds and four assists against San Antonio in his first game back following a three-game absence due to an ankle injury.
Anthony's been a big problem for Houston recently as well. He has totaled 82 points in his past two games against the Rockets.
More from Iman? If Iman Shumpert can give the Knicks the same performance on Friday that he turned in against the Spurs on Thursday, they should be in good shape.
Shumpert scored a career-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting against San Antonio and made several key plays late in the fourth quarter to help the Knicks seal the win. New York outscored the Spurs by 10 in Shumpert's 31 minutes on the floor.
Shumpert will have his hands full against Houston on Friday. He'll likely be matched up against Rockets guard James Harden. Harden had 36 points and nine rebounds against New York on Nov. 14. He's averaging 30.3 points over his past four meetings against the Knicks, sinking 53.2 percent from the floor and 45 of 48 from the line, according to STATS, LLC.
Linsane: Ex-Knick Jeremy Lin has found a way to recreate Linsanity in his past two meetings against New York. Lin's had a total of 43 points in the past two Knicks-Rockets games.
It will be interesting to see how he does against the Knicks' point guard combo of Beno Udrih and Toure' Murry. Murry has proved to be a strong defender.