Team Records: Portland (15-4) at New York (4-17)
Game Info: 4:30 p.m., TV on CSNNW, Radio on 620 AM
Vegas Line: Portland -6.5
Refs: Bill Kennedy, Brian Forte, Scott Twardoski
The Skinny: After a gritty win over the Pacers at home on Thursday, the Blazers head to New York to begin a five game road trip. New York is currently experiencing its worst start in franchise history under first year head coach Derek Fisher. The Knicks have lost seven straight and are 2-16 since opening the year 2-1.
Last Season: The Blazers swept the Knicks for the second consecutive season. The Blazers have won three of the last four between the two teams in New York.
Projected Knicks Lineup:
PF: Quincy Acy (Baylor-3rd season) – 5.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.1 APG
SF: Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse-12th season) – 23.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.4 APG
C: Samuel Dalembert (Seton Hall-13th season) – 4.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.1 APG
SG: Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech-4th season) – 9.9 PPG, .3.5 RPG, 3.1 APG
PG: Jose Calderon (Spain-10th season) – 9.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.9 APG
Player to Watch: Carmelo Anthony (pictured at right) – It was no secret a few years back that Carmelo Anthony wanted to play in New York but up until last year it hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride for the NYC native. Carmelo is one of the best scorers in the game, although he has been a step behind his usual form so far this year.. He is an excellent rebounder and has great handles. His defense might be questionable and he doesn’t like to pass much but when you’re one of the best scorers in the game, those deficiencies pale in comparison to Melo’s strengths. Melo is about the only thing keeping the Knicks watchable at this point as they continue to degenerate into a mess.
Did You Know?: The New York Knickerbockers name was first coined by Washington Irving in “A History of New York” in 1809 , which he published under the pen name Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Song of the Day: “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. The signature song of New York Enjoy:
Portland: Out –PG CJ McCollum (Finger)
New York: Out – PF Andrea Bargnani (Calf), PF Cleanthony Early (Knee)
New York’s Game:
You ever wake up from a nightmare thinking it might be real? Well for the Knicks so far this year the season has indeed been a living nightmare. They have a new coach, Derek Fisher, who insists that the team is running the triangle, even though they don’t, and if they did they don’t have the talent to actually pull it off. Their defense is an abject failure, ranking 27th in defensive efficiency and their offense isn’t much better, ranking 22nd. On offense its all about Melo, if he has a good night they have a chance to win but if he doesn’t, they are simply unwatchable and awful. They don’t even have any promising young talent since they lost their first rounder last year as part of the Melo trade a few years back. Bottom line, its a Broadway flop for this New York team.
The Bottom Line:
Portland wins if: Don’t let Melo go crazy. If Melo doesn’t have one of his crazy efficient nights the Knicks have very little chance of winning.
New York wins if: They make at least 10 3 pointers. When New York is going well, they take and make a lot of 3 pointers. If they can do so Sunday, they could prevail.