Thursday, April 26, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats Pre-Game News and Notes April 26

Thursday April 26, 2012 8:00 P.M. ET
New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats

The Knicks end the regular season tonight against a Bobcats team riding a 22 game losing streak.  This is an important game still for the Knicks, as their playoff seed is still not set.  If the Knicks and 76ers share the same result tonight, the Knicks will get the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference and a first round match up against the Miami Heat.  If the Knicks win and 76ers lose they also get the 7th seed.  The only way the Knicks can fall behind the 76ers tonight is a lose in combination with a 76er win.  So the question now comes, do the Knicks lose on purpose, trying to avoid Miami in the first round?  As a fan I do not want to watch my favorite team be the ones who end the Bobcats 22 game losing streak.  I may be in the minority tonight, but I want to see the Knicks come out firing trying to end the regular season on a high note and not lose to the Bobcats even if it means a match up with the Heat in the first. 

-Lots of Lineup Changes

The Knicks will start a very different looking lineup tonight, giving multiple players the night off.  Tonight’s starting lineup for the Knicks will be Mike Bibby, Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields, Josh Harrellson and Amar’e Stoudemire.  Baron Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Toney Douglas are all sitting tonight.  Douglas is the only one who is actually not healthy enough to play, as he is sitting out because he is sick.  This will be an interesting game for the bench, as they will get extended playing time.  It is an opportunity for many of them to showcase what they have going into the playoffs trying to earn playing time from Mike Woodson.  Woodson has said he will use tonight to see who deserves minutes going forward into the playoffs.

-Show Up Tonight

The playoffs are right around the corner, so why not start with the intensity tonight?  It should not be hard to get the bench players to play hard tonight.  They are all fighting for a spot in the rotation for the playoffs and have nothing to lose.  There should be no drop off in intensity and work ethic with this group.  I actually believe the Knicks have a better chance of beating the Bobcats with this group because they will match the energy the Bobcats will bring trying to end their losing streak.

The Knicks want to ride a wave of momentum into the playoffs, especially because it will be a tough opponent in either the Bulls or Heat.  Losing to the Bobcats would destroy any good feelings the Knicks are building up, so tonight is a game they should come out in and try dominating from the start.

-Going for Recognition

Steve Novak has come out of oblivion this year and has turned in a great season for the Knicks.  Tonight he has a chance to secure the league lead in 3 point shooting if he knocks down a couple of jumpers.  The Knicks should do everything they can to get Novak that title.  He deserves any recognition he can get because of how well he has played this season, playing most of it out of nowhere.  He is better known for his championship belt maneuver than actually playing.  

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