The Toronto Raptors look to head into the All-Star break on a high note against Carmelo Anthony and the high-flying New York Knicks. The Raptors have won three straight, while the Knicks are coming off a home loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. Anthony scored 42 points in the loss to put him in the NBA scoring lead alongside Kevin Durant at 29.0 points per game.
The win will have to be hard-earned as the Knicks are 19-7 in Madison Square Garden and second overall in the Eastern Conference. They are an offensive-minded team oriented around elite scorer Anthony, with former All-Star Amare Stoudemire playing a relatively conservative role. In 19 games coming back from injury, Stoudemire is averaging 14 points in 23 minutes, and might well thrive against a Raptor defense that is notoriously vulnerable to quick big men (Demarcus Cousins, anybody?).
The Raptors will again be led by Rudy Gay on offense. Gay is coming off his second game-winning shot as a Toronto Raptor already. Maybe he will be able to harness that elite form for the rest of the game? Only time will tell.
The Raptors are six games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.