The New York Knicks (21-24) will host the Toronto Raptors (15-30) tomorrow in hopes of winning their fourth straight. A six-game losing streak followed by Mike D’Antoni’s resignation has led to a hectic week, but the Knicks have finally been able to put it behind them. Six days later, and the Knicks are back to playing team basketball. They’re now on a 3-game winning streak with a combined margine of 71 points, and are showing no signs of slowing down. The Raptors have had some recent struggles as well due to the sprained right ankle of Jose Calderon. Toronto’s starting Point Guard has missed the last five games, and though Jerry Bayless has filled in nicely, the Raptors look forward to Calderon’s return (tomorrow). The Raptors are coming off of a tough loss to the subpar Bobcats (107-103) where Bayless had a game-high 29 points, 6 assists & 4 steals. Who can forget the last time these two teams met up? Jeremy Lin did this…
Players To Watch
Jose Calderon: After missing the last 5 games, Calderon will make his return from a sprained right ankle tomorrow. He’s an assist machine, dishing out 8.5 APG- 3rd in the NBA. Before his injury, Calderon posted an impressive 17 points, 12 assists & 2 steals in a win over Houston. He’s also a lethal shooter managing 45% from the field.
Andrea Bargnani: Bargnani is still getting his touch back since returning from a 2-month calf injury. He has played 6 inconsistent games since his return, averaging just 12.8 points on 35.6% shooting. Andrea who has hurt the Knicks before with 21 points in a victory at the Garden (1/2), may not have the same success tomorrow.
Jerryd Bayless: Jerryd Bayless has done a tremendous job filling in for Jose Calderon (ankle), averaging 21.8 points on 54.3 shooting (5 games). Bayless who averages just 12 PPG and 4 APG, is coming off of a 29 point, 6 assist, 4 steal game in a loss to Charlotte. Despite his recent success, Jerryd will have to continue his hot streak off the bench as Calderon is set to return tomorrow.
The Knicks have started fresh. With a new head coach, new philosophy, and new attitudes- this is the time to turn it around. Mike Woodson believes in this team, why shouldn’t we?
“Our hearts are right in it, and it was a total team effort. I couldn’t be more proud of the team than I am. I happen to have a great group of guys and a talented bunch. We just have to keep them playing at a high level. If we do that, we have a chance.”
– Mike Woodson (Saturday)
In case anyone forgot..