Friday, February 21, 2014
W2W4: Knicks at Magic
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight's Knicks-Magic game:
J.R. starting: J.R. Smith will start for the injured Iman Shumpert. Smith has to wear a mask on his face to protect a broken bone in his left cheek. He struggled early on with his shooting but seemed to be getting used to it Wednesday against New Orleans. Smith had 12 points in the second quarter and finished with 19 in the Knicks' win.
In his past 14 games, Smith's averaging 16.4 points per game on 45 percent shooting. He's hitting 46 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Back-to-back W's? The Knicks are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time in February. They are 2-6 in February.
On Friday, they'll have the services of Amar'e Stoudemire. Stoudemire sat out Wednesday's game due to knee soreness. With the Knicks playing four games in five nights, it made sense for Stoudemire to sit.
New York hopes to get some scoring support from Stoudemire. The $100 million man is scoring 16 points per game on 55 percent shooting over his past five games.
Same players, new result? The Knicks didn't make any moves at the deadline. One player close to getting traded was Raymond Felton. It will be interesting to see how Felton performs now that he isn't burdened by trade rumors. The Knicks, by the way, have won nine in a row against Orlando.