January 25, 2014 — 12:30 PM (PST)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)
Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points this past Friday vs. a top-10 defensive team in Charlotte Bobcats to single-handedly snap the New York Knicks’ 5-game losing streak.
Now, he and the rest of the Knicks (16-27) get to play vs. the Los Angeles Lakers (16-28), the NBA’s worst defensive team by a wide margin.
The Knicks might arguably be the most disappointing NBA team this season, with multiple locker room problems and playing without any team continuity. Despite the turmoil, Anthony has carried this dysfunctional Knicks all on his own back, scoring 27.0 PPG, grabbing 9.1 RPG, and dishing out 3.0 APG. He creates a matchup nightmare for the Lakers since the Lakers do not possess a player who has the size and strength to match up vs. Anthony.
Rumors and speculations have swirled around Anthony’s potential destination including signing with the Lakers to team up with G Kobe Bryant. However, he currently wears a Knicks uniform and the Lakers have to figure out a way to contain him.
The Lakers, on the other hand, suffered a bad loss vs. Orlando Magic, 114-105 as a result of allowing 38 points in the 3rd quarter. C/F Pau Gasol, who had another double-double vs. Magic by scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, seem to now arguably be the best offensive Center in the NBA during the month of January. Gasol needs to play like one today in order to offset Anthony’s probably scoring outburst.
Also, this would be the first time the Lakers will play vs. former Laker and 2010 NBA Finals hero F Metta World Peace, who the Lakers amnestied last offseason to clear cap space. World Peace’s playing status remains uncertain today due to a strained left knee.
PG - Kendall Marshall / Raymond Felton [Advantage: Even]
SG - Jodie Meeks / Pablo Prigioni [Advantage: Lakers]
SF - Nick Young / Iman Shumpert [Advantage: Lakers]
PF - Ryan Kelly / Carmelo Anthony [Advantage: Knicks]
C - Pau Gasol / Tyson Chandler [Advantage: Lakers]
Notable Bench Players
Knicks: G Tim Hardaway Jr., G JR Smith, C Jeremy Tyler, F Metta World Peace
Lakers: F Wesley Johnson, G Manny Harris, F Jordan Hill
Bench Advantage: Lakers
Knicks: Out-F Kenyon Martin, Out-F Amare Stoudemire, Out-F Andrea Bargnani, Questionable-F Metta World Peace
Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-PG Steve Blake, Out-G Xavier Henry, Out-PG Jordan Farmar
Keys for Lakers Victory
Defense: No explanation nor analysis necessary. You can figure this one out.
Hopefully the Knicks play like they have for the majority of this season that caused them to land in 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers need to win today’s game to salvage this roller-coaster Grammy’s trip, where they currently suffer a 2-4 record. The Lakers definitely possess better team chemistry than the Knicks, so they have to work as a team to grind out this game. Unfortunately, their defense will most likely haunt them, and the Knicks should win this game.