Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks Pre-Game News and Notes March 28

Wednesday March 28th 7:00 P.M. ET 
Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks 

The Knicks look to continue their hot play and run their record with Mike Woodson to 8-1 against a tough Orlando Magic team. The Knicks currently sit 2 games ahead the Milwaukee Bucks entering a tough stretch of games. The first meeting of the season was a 102-93 victory for the Magic, with the Knicks blowing their lead in the 4th quarter. 

-Injury News and Notes 

It was found out today that Amar’e Stoudemire will be out for 2-4 weeks. He has opted for the non-surgical procedure to try and fix his bulging disk in his back. If he is able to return closer to the 2 week timeframe compared to the 4 week time-frame he should have about 9 games left in the regular season before playoffs start. 

As for tonight, Jeremy Lin will not be playing because of his sore knee. Baron Davis will again start in his place. Carmelo Anthony will be suiting up for the game tonight though and will be expected to pick up much of the slack. Expect a monster game for Anthony tonight as he will be the vocal point of the offense. 

-Contain the 3 Point Shot 

Last time the Knicks played the Magic, the Knicks struggled to defend the 3 point shot. The Magic shot 17-35 from 3 point range, led by Ryan Anderson’s 7-13. On the other side, the Knicks shot 5-20 from 3 point range. The Knicks cannot get into a 3 point shootout with the Magic or they will struggle to keep up. Along with Anderson, the Knicks have to worry about Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Redick shooting from deep. The Knicks have to keep up their defensive intensity they have been bringing since Woodson was hired as interim coach. 

-Bring the Kryptonite 

The Knicks will have their hands full tonight with Dwight Howard, but they were able to hold him in check in the last meeting allowing him to score only 8 points and grab 10 rebounds. Granted, the Magic lights out shooting from 3 point range played a role in Howard’s diminished stat line, but the Knicks defense needs some credit. This is where Tyson Chandler comes in handy because he is capable of guarding Howard in single coverage for stretches of the game. The Knicks will again miss Jared Jeffries versatility on the defensive end, who would be capable of guarding every player on the Magic roster. The Knicks also cannot be shy about using their fouls on Dwight Howard, who shot 2-9 from the foul line in the first season and has shot poorly from the line this season going for 48.8%. 

-Picking up The Slack 

With Amar’e Stoudemire set to miss a few weeks and Jeremy Lin nursing his own injuries, Carmelo Anthony needs to pick up the slack. Monday night he did just that, scoring 28 points, his most since Woodson was hired. The Knicks are going to count on Anthony to carry the team for the time being, which he is more than capable of doing. Anthony was brought here because he wanted to shine on Broadway; there is no better time for him to showcase those talents than now. 

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