New York Knicks (9-20) @ Raps (12-15) – 3 keys to another win

The Toronto Raptors finally return to their home court, after a highly successful (3-1) road trip. They defeated tonight’s opponent last night at Madison Square Garden, on the strength of another fourth quarter comeback. Can they continue their fine play against a shell-shocked and injury-riddled New York Knicks team? [N.B. Carmelo Anthony will not dress.]

Dec 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) reacts during the third quarter of a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If there ever was a game in which to turn the notion of a trap game (i.e., the first game at home following a lengthy road trip is often a loss, hence the “trap game” meme) on its head, here it is. To begin last night’s game, the Raps were woefully sluggish following several days off, and nearly squandered a huge opportunity. Here’s a game Toronto can win in a romp if they:

  • keep pounding away inside. I was surprised by how little impact Tyson Chandler had on the Raps’ offense. Until Chandler proves he can handle Jonas Valanciunas on the low block, and a swarm of Raps attacking the basket, I’d make sure JV got a ton of touches. He can shoot, drive or pass as he chooses.
  • harass ball handlers on the perimeter. The Knicks’ offense, such as it is, depends on 3-point shooters getting open. Last night, they shot over 50% from deep. Our bigger guys need to be helping our guards, as their players aren’t any great shakes at creating their own shots, and are forced to depend on catch-&-shoot opportunities.
  • get a stronger offensive performance from the second unit. We’re getting a better sense of why Sacramento cut these guys loose. Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson are missing a lot of open looks.

The Raps have accumulated a reverse record to date, going 8-7 on the road but a deeply disappointing 4-8 at the Air Canada Centre. It’s well past time to throw the fans a bone. The Raps will control this game from its early moments, and roll to a 105-88 win.


Topics: New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors

Want more from Raptors Rapture?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.

TEAMFeed More Raptors news from the Fansided Network

Hot on the Web From