The last time the Raptors played the Knicks Linsanity was in full effect and Mike D’Antoni still had his job. Now the Knicks are looking to remain in that eighth playoff spot and continue to win under former Atlanta Hawks coach and Iso ball aficionado Mike Woodson,
The Knicks are 3-0 under Woodson and are looking like they are experiencing a rebirth under their new coach. If the Knicks continue to show the same type of effort they did last week then they should make quick work against the Raptors.
Jerryd Bayless’ stint at starter for the Raptors should end tonight as Jose Calderon is expected to return. However Bayless deserves a massive shout out for his very impressive performance in replacing Calderon as a starter. Bayless will once again have to return to learning how to play off of the bench, but he definitely showed signs of massive improvement over the last few games. Bayless averaged 21.8 points on 54.3% shooting in Calderon’s absence.
However Calderon’s return should give the Raptors a chance tonight. Calderon has averaged 17 points and 10.5 assists against the Knicks this season.
Look to see how James Johnson does on defense tonight. Johnson’s versatility can see him guarding both Amare and Melo on separate occasions tonight. Johnson has made waves as an excellent energy player this season and match ups like this show if he is ready to entire the realm of the NBA’s shutdown elite.
On the Knicks’ defensive front they have the assignment of Andrea Bargnani. Expect Tyson Chandler to check Bargnani who is still looking to hit his pre-calf injury stride.
Tonight’s game tips off at 7:30 EST.