Frodo a go-go!
Larry Fleisher, of the excellent Knicks blog "Father Knickerbocker", has done us the honor of writing a preview of tonight's game:
About the Knicks:I wrote a preview of the Sonics for his site - check it out here.
The Knicks (29-37) have won eight of 12 since the deals for Maurice Taylor and Malik Rose added useful bodies and depth. But only three of those games were on the road, where theKnicks only wins in 16 away games in 2005 were against Atlanta and Utah.
Unlike the last long trip, the Knicks are healthy. Only Penny Hardaway is hurt and Kurt Thomas, their best defensive player is likely to return from his sore left elbow.
New York is battling with the Sixers, Nets and Magic for the final playoff spot in the East. The Knicks currently sit 3 1/2 games behind the Sixers, who host the Raptors tonight.
Earlier in the year, defense was a problem for the Knicks. But they have allowed less than 100 points in eight straight games and in 11 of their last 15.
The Knicks are coming off a pair of impressive home wins vs. division leaders.
On Monday, they didn't have to face Tim Duncan and used a 25-1 run in the second half to beat the Spurs, 88-75. Stephon Marbury scored 31 points, including the last 13 of the third quarter.
Two nights later, the Knicks didn't back down from the Celtics cockiness and rolled to an 107-82 victory.
Jamal Crawford led six Knicks with 21 points. Two of those points were a pass to himself off the glass resulting in a dunk.
Probable Starters and comments about them:
F - Tim Thomas, 11.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG - Play has picked up in the last two months as has willingness to attck the basket.
F - Mike Sweetney, 8.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG - Biggest body on the low block but prone to foul trouble.
C - Kurt Thomas, 11.8 PPG, 10.3 RPG - Knicks most consistent performer with 24 double-doubles and skills to hit mid-range jumpers on pick-and-roll plays.
G - Jamal Crawford, 17.2 PPG, 4.2 APG - A Seattle native, who is a streaky shooter. But recent effective play at the point has made him an even bigger weapon. Should also be hyped to be playing in front of family and friends.
G - Stephon Marbury, 21.2 PPG, 8.1 APG - Can take over a game at any given moment when he attacks the hole.
Last Meeting and Series History:
The Knicks last met the Sonics on March 13 at the Garden. They took a five-point lead into the fourth quarter but were handed a 90-80 loss ending a seven-game home winning streak.
Knicks have lost their last two visits to Seattle and five of their last games here.