Team Records: New York (5-27) at Portland (24-7)
Game Info: 6 p.m., TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -12.5
Refs: David Jones, JT Orr, Josh Tiven
The Skinny: The Blazers continue their long homestand with a game against the debacle that is the 2014-15 New York Knicks. The Knicks are absolutely horrible, with more losses than anyone else in the league (yes even Philly) and since the Blazers visit to New York Portland is 8-3 and New York 1-9. The Knicks haven’t beaten a quality opponent since a win over the Cavs in New York’s second game of the season.
Last Time They Met: It wasn’t easy but the Blazers got the job done, overcoming big nights from JR Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire to beat the Knicks 103-99. Portland outscored New York 8-2 in the closing minutes to secure the victory.
Projected Knicks Lineup:
PF: Quincy Acy (Baylor-3rd season) – 5.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.1 APG
SF: Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse-12th season) – 24 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.2 APG
C: Samuel Dalembert (Seton Hall-13th season) – 3.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, .9 APG
SG: Tim Haradway Jr. (Michigan-2nd Season) – 10.6 PPG, .1.8 RPG, 1.5 APG
PG: Jose Calderon (Spain-10th season) – 9.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.2 APG
Player to Watch: Tim Haradway Jr. (pictured at right) – Much like his five-time all-star father (who was drafted only 14th in 1989), Tim Haradway Jr. was perhaps a bit undervalued coming out of college, dropping to the 24th overall pick due to concerns about his athleticism, Haradway was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal 2013-14 campaign for the Knicks. He quickly showed that he was a NBA caliber player, Haradway has good shooting form and can be deadly on the catch and shoot. He has the tools and the body to be a good defender but hasn’t really developed into much of one yet. He’s not a very good playmaker or rebounder. On a good team, Haradway would probably be an off the bench rotation player but he’s either starting or one of the first off the bench for the woeful Knicks. He’s not as good as his father but like his father, is better than many thought at first glance.
Did You Know?: The Knicks are off to their worst start in franchise history. The worst record in the modern era is 23-59 back in 2005-06.
Song of the Day: “Talkin’ New York” by Bob Dylan. A song that literally tells the story of Dylan’s first NYC experience Enjoy:
Portland: Out –C Robin Lopez (Hand), Questionable-PF LaMarcus Aldridge (Illness)
New York: Out – PF Andrea Bargnani (Calf), PF Cleanthony Early (Knee), SG Iman Shumpert (Shoulder), Questionable-PF Amar’e Stoudemire (Knee), SG JR Smith (Foot), SF Carmelo Anthony (Knee)
Re-Evaluating the Knicks: Give Me Your Rich, Your Overpaid Players Yearning to Play Like Crap
On a tablet next to the Statue of Liberty there is a famous poem written by Emma Lazarus that includes the following lines ” Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” That poem, about the US welcoming in immigrants from all around the world might well apply to the Knicks, with but a few alterations for the Knicks are a sad bunch of largely overpaid, and mostly over the hill, players whom few teams want. It is hard to figure out what the Knicks are trying to do or how they could ever claim they would be anything but a mess this year. It is true that they could have a few more wins because they’ve lost plenty of close games but what would it matter? In the end, the Knicks are indeed that “wretched refuse” and it is hard to see them getting better anytime soon.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: They limit New York’s 3 pointers. The Knicks are only really dangerous when they make a lot of three pointers. If Portland can limit New York’s effectiveness from deep, they should roll to an easy win.
New York wins if: They score at least 105 points. The Knicks are absolutely terrible on defense. To be sure of a victory in Portland, they probably have to score at least 105-110 points and even then it might not be enough.