March 25, 2014 — 7:30 PM (PST)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)
The Lakers look to build off of their win vs. the Orlando Magic on Sunday as they face off vs. New York Knicks (29-41) tonight.
F Jordan Hill had a career night, scoring 28 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in Sunday’s win. Hill’s numbers do not come from plays getting run through him, but through effort and hustle, primarily grabbing offensive rebounds. Although the chances Hill will match his numbers from Sunday tonight seem unlikely, Hill should still be able to make an impact in tonight’s game also.
However, the Lakers chances of winning tonight will be hampered since C Pau Gasol will not play tonight. Gasol, who has been one of a few consistent Laker this season, suffered a vertigo illness that caused him to miss the 2nd half of Sunday’s game and get taken to a hospital by ambulance
Things have turned around for the Knicks franchise ever since rumors they are now only 2 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. After losing 6 straight games, Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson decided to shake up his lineup, bringing G JR Smith and F Amar’e Stoudemire into the starting lineup. Although they lost another game after Woodson switched the starting lineup, the Knicks then went on an 8 game winning streak until losing a close game vs. Cavaliers on Sunday.
F Carmelo Anthony leads the Knicks team into Staples Center tonight. Anthony, who has scored 28.1 PPG while grabbing 8.2 RPG and dishing out 3.1 APG, seemed like a sure thing to depart the Knicks a few weeks ago. Now, with the hire of Jackson and the Knicks strong push to make the playoffs, Anthony not only seems to be unsure about departing New York now and seeks to will his team into the playoffs with his strong play.
PG – Raymond Felton / Kendall Marshall [Advantage: Even]
SG – JR Smith / Jodie Meeks [Advantage: Even]
SF – Carmelo Anthony / Nick Young [Advantage: Knicks]
PF – Amar’e Stoudemire / Jordan Hill [Advantage: Even]
C – Tyson Chandler / Chris Kaman [Advantage: Even]
Notable Bench Players
Knicks: F Tim Hardaway Jr., G Shannon Brown, G Iman Shumpert, G Pablo Prigioni, C Cole Aldrich
Lakers: F Wesley Johnson, C Robert Sacre, G Xavier Henry, G Kent Bazemore
Bench Advantage: Knicks
Knicks: Out-F Kenyon Martin, Out-F Andrea Bargnani, GTD-G Iman Shumpert
Lakers: Out-C Pau Gasol, Out-PG Jordan Farmar, Out-G Kobe Bryant, Doubtful-PG Steve Nash, Will Play-G Xavier Henry
Knowing that Phil Jackson will be in the Knicks front office have definitely given the Knicks player a major jolt that they have been lacking. Although the Lakers looked great vs. Magic on Sunday, the Knicks will play with a huge sense of urgency to sneak into the playoffs. The Lakers will have to play very smart on the defensive end to have a shot at defeating the Knicks tonight.