2012 Game Preview – Knicks @ Bobcats

Knicks Bobcats

New York Knicks (6-10, 3-4 away) @ Charlotte Bobcats (3-14, 2-6 home)

The Knicks are on the verge of their longest losing streak in two years, and will head down to Charlotte to face the struggling Bobcats, who are losers of four straight. These two teams have met twice this season already, splitting the two contests.

It’s ironic the Knicks are playing a game at Time Warner Cable Arena, reminding me of the rights dispute obstructing my ears from hearing Clyde’s prancin’ and dancin’!

When – January 24th, 2012
Time – 7:00 PM EST
Where – Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

Injury Report – New York
Baron Davis (Back) – Practiced yesterday!
Josh Harrellson (Broken Right Wrist) – Out indefinitely.

Injury Report – Charlotte
D.J. Augustin (Inflamed Big Toe) – Left Sunday’s game against New Jersey.
Corey Maggette (Strained Left Hamstring)
D.J. White (Bruised Left Knee) – Missed Sunday’s game against New Jersey.
Reggie Williams (Left Knee Surgery) – Will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks.

Offensive Rating – New York – 98.6 (24th), Charlotte – 97.3 (26th)
Defensive Rating – New York – 101.0 (12th), Charlotte – 108.4 (28th)
Pace – New York – 94.5 (3rd), Charlotte – 92.6 (11th)
High PER Performer – New York – Carmelo Anthony (22.5), Charlotte – Byron Mullens (17.4)

Probable Starters – New York
PG – Iman Shumpert
SG – Landry Fields
SF – Carmelo Anthony
PF – Amar’e Stoudemire
C – Tyson Chandler

Probable Starters – Charlotte
PG – Kemba Walker
SG – Gerald Henderson
SF – Derrick Brown
PF – Tyrus Thomas
C – Byron Mullens

Evidently, Knick and McDonald’s killer Boris Diaw is now coming off the bench as a reserve.

Keep an Eye On

1. ‘Melo Post Ups – I have pleaded for more bully ball, waited for ‘Melo to consistently utilize his strengh and size down low in the post. Justifying my frustration, he is posting his counterpart only 10.4% of the time, compared to 34.3% in isolation. The Bobcats are among the best when it comes to defending the isolation, only allowing 0.69 PPP (Points Per Possesion), according to mySynergySports. Placing ‘Melo between the low block and foul line extended creates a double team almost instantly, opening up more opportunities for teammates to find the open space on the floor. ‘Melo averages 1.07 PPP when he goes to the post up game, high enough for 7th in the league. The injured left wrist is obviously hindering his shooting stroke, so it is imperative ‘Melo gets easy buckets, instead of settling for off balance 17-footers.

2. Kemba Walker – With D.J. Augustine expected to miss this contest, the blazing fast rookie will get the start. His presence and attack first mentality could spark the struggling squad. Walker’s speed is impeccable, making him an assassin in transition, converting turnovers into quick and easy buckets. With the injury to Augustin, expect Kemba to take full advantage of the added spotlight.

3. State of Crisis – The Knicks haven’t been victorious in two weeks, D’Antoni’s seat has reached a scorching temperature. The Knicks have hit rock bottom, and will attempt to pick themselves back up to the surface, starting tonight in Charlotte.

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Steve Carmichael (@Carmichael15)

I'm a 22 year old student studying Sports Journalism at the New England School of Communications in Bangor, Maine. I'm a basketball addict and live for the game I love. I have an irrational love for 1% milk and Sandra Bullock. If you would like to contact me, you can e-mail me or follow me on twitter @Carmichael15