It’s Game 2 of the Toronto Raptors-New York Knicks home and home series, and Game 4 and final of the season series. The Knicks held off the Raps last night at the Air Canada Centre, and probably don’t feel any reason to change any part of their game plan, particularly now that Rudy Gay won’t be playing. The Raps’ starting power forward tweaked his always-tender back in the second quarter of Friday’s loss, and didn’t travel to New York. Alan Anderson, who tried to beat the Knicks by himself with 35 points, has earned the starting spot in Rud
Carmelo Anthony ran roughshod over the Raps’ defense with 37 points, and must be excited to have another go. The Raps will need to keep him quiet somehow, but he can shoot over any of our guys. Our best bet: don’t let him shoot open 3s.
The Raps will also need to:
- Find some scoring. To expect Anderson, or anyone, to drain 35 points is absurd. We need to pound the ball inside; get Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson fully engaged in the offense.
- Get something from the bench. John Lucas and Terrence Ross, in particular, must start producing.
- Control the paint. Kenyon Martin has no business getting a double-double against our front line, yet he did that with ease on Friday night.
The loss of Rudy puts further strain on DeMar DeRozan, as he’s our only reliable perimeter scorer (pace, Anderson fans – he had 1 basket in his previous 2 games before the explosion). It’s hard to see the Raps breaking off their 3-game losing skid on the road against a clearly stronger opponent. Let’s hope reverse psychology works: Knicks 96-Raps 92.
Brian Boake is a co-editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada.