Last 10 games: 2-8
What Vegas Says: Lakers -5.5
Gatinho the Scout: Seeing that the Knicks were playing the Hawks yesterday, I tuned in via “League Pass” to get a glimpse figuring that I would see the better side of this inconsistent Knick team against a club that was equally as inconsistent. The Hawks went on a 28-2 run in a third quarter low-lighted by 11 Knick turnovers. They accumulated 23 in the game and are averaging 17 per on the year. They lacked any offensive flow or shooting rythm. (Sound familiar?)
Update: But are they quitters?
Silver linings: David Lee has been joined by Jackie Butler (career high 15 points in the Hawks loss) to provide some scoring punch and energy off the bench recently for these Knicks. Channing Frye is leading rookies in 5 separate categories although the award will most likely go to the Hornetâ€™s Chris Paul .
Did you see Scanners?: Last night Larry Brown and his coaching staff all looked as if they were candidates to have their domes explode during that miserable stretch of the third quarter. There is no way these Knicks come with the same effort against the Lakers in the Mecca, and the Lakers need to keep the hard lessons learned from the Portland and Sacramento losses in mind.
The Mecca: “It doesn’t matter if it’s Michael Jordan, or Muhammad Ali, or Sinatra, or the pope,” said George Kalinsky, the Garden’s official photographer for 38 years. “They know the stage is brighter here than anyplace else.” The Knicks faithful may be buzzing about the possibility of seeing a Kobe score-fest, but he must resist going down that road unless absolutely necessary.
Ascending: This should be a night where the Lakers can return to the form they flirted with on the 5-1 trip in the earlier part of the season. Lamar should be able to get his confidence up and bounce back from the past turnover ridden games against Detroit and Golden State. As the â€œinitiatorâ€ of the offense he should be given more leeway in regards to his turnover total, but he must not be predictable. Teams are guessing pass and therefore are staying at home defensively setting Lamar up for the inevitable offensive fouls. The rest of the crew should be looking to return a little rhythm to their shooting.
Pony Boy: With 12 points and 9 rebounds with a 1.4 to.6 assist to turnover ratio over the last 5 games, Chris Mihm has seemingly become one of the only Lakers not named Kobe that we may begin to consider consistent. A solid 16 points and 14 rebounds against the Detroit juggernaut aided Kobe in keeping that game respectable. The rest of the guys outside of those two were 16-41.
6th Ave and W. 4th St.: Smush (and Lamar) returns home. â€œThe Cageâ€ has been chronicled here and in several other stories and is widely known for its out-of-bounds lines being marked not by paint but by a chain link fence.
Smush for three:The Lakers have nominated Smush to participate in the three-point shoot-out over the All-Star break.
Blog on: Check out the two excellent Knick blogs listed to the right for more insight.