Houston Rockets(18-17) vs New York Knicks(9-24)
January 9 at 7:30pm ET, live on MSG

Welcome to the MSGKnickz33 pregame show, Im your host Jazzy Jeff and Im gonna get right to talkin about tonights game in Houston. The Rockets are currently the 5th best team defensively in the NBA. Tracy McGrady and former Knick Steve Francis will both be out for this game and Bonzi Wells is listed as day to day. If Bonzi plays, he is capable of putting up impressive scoring numbers and he is an above average defender. Lets go take a look at the unofficial starting lineups.

STARTING LINEUPS

The Houston Rockets

pg-Rafer Alston
sg-Luther Head
sf-Shane Battier
pf-Chuck Hayes
C-Yao Ming


AND NOW YOUR NEW YORK KNICKS!!!!!!!

BACK AT POINT GUARD, STEPHON MARBURY!!!!!
AT SHOOTING GUARD, JAMAL CRAWFORD
AT SMALL FORWARD, JARED JEFFRIES
AT POWER FORWARD, ZACH RANDOLPH
AT CENTER, EDDY CURRY



Tonights Key Matchup: Stephon Marbury vs Rafer Alston

It will be a battle of point guards from New York City. Alston is coming off an impressive game against the Washington Wizards where he recorded 15 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. Alston grew up playing basketball in Queens New York and earned respect as a playground legend with the name "skip to my lou." Marbury is also a playground legend coming from Coney Island and hes a 2 time NBA all-star. Starbury helped the Knicks win last night in Chicago by making a highlight pass to David Lee and a couple of possessions later knocking down a 3 to seal the deal. Marbury in his first 4 games back after missing much of December is averageing:

38 mpg
15.3ppg
3.5apg
43.7fg%
40% 3pt

MSG33's strategy:

  • Look to double and trap Yao Ming on the baseline: Make sure to cut off passing lines!!!
  • Let Marbury run the team!!!
  • Take Care of the Ball!!!! Last week the Knicks had 18 turnovers against the Rockets so they need to take better care of the ball
  • Give big minutes to Nate Robinson: He torched the Rockets last week proving that they dont have an answer for him, scoring 25 points(9-13) in 32 minutes


The Knicks need to be concerned with 3 players who come off the bench for the Rockets, and they are Bonzi Wells, Aaron Brooks, and Mike James. Although Mike James is only shooting 33% from the perimeter when he gets hot he hits all his shots and same with Luther Head whos 3pt field goal percentage is 37%. Aaron Brooks became the next Knicks opponent to get a career high. He scored 22 points in 25 minutes on 8 for 10 shooting. It is the perimeter players who kill the Knicks but with Marbury back, they have one guy who can defend on the perimeter. Theres another good perimeter defender on this team but for whatever reason he has not seen much playing time this year. Im talking about the plastic man, Renaldo Balkman who I'm hoping will see some minutes tonight. Shane Battier is the best 3pt shooter on this team (39%) and its not a good idea to put Quentin Richardson on him.


Thats it for my pregame show, I thank everyone for joining me, the Rza of Knicksonline.com and remember to watch the Knicks and the Rockets tonight at 7:30 on MSG.