The New York Knicks(11-26) vs The New Jersey Nets(18-19)
January 16, 7:30pm ET on MSG

Welcome to the MSGknickz33 pregame show, as always Im your host Jazzy Jeff and the Knicks will look to make it 3 straight tonight in New Jersey. Not only are the Knicks looking to have a 3 game winning streak for the first time this season but they are looking to also beat the Nets for the 3rd time this season. Jason Kidd did not play in the 1st game but he was there for the second. The Nets have lost 2 straight games so expect them to be ready to play. Lets take a look at tonights starting lineups.

New York Knicks vs New Jersey Nets

Jamal Crawford vs Jason Kidd
Fred Jones vs Vince Carter
Quentin Richardson vs Richard Jefferson
Zach Randolph vs Sean Williams
Eddy Curry vs Josh Boone

Key Matchup: Jamal Crawford vs Jason Kidd

Crawford has been shooting better recently and the stats prove that when the Knicks win Crawford plays much better.

11 games Won
47% fg
45.5% 3P

25 Games Lost
39.2 fg%
29.4% 3P

Theres a big gap in his shooting percentages when the Knicks win compared to when they lose. Defense and turnovers are not included in these stats but credit to Jamal for having a nice steal early in last nights game. Hes got the long arms and quick hands to be a much better defender but he doesnt have a defensive mentality. At least on offense he has been more consistent, lets take a look at what he has done over the past 7 games.

44.4% 3P

Theres no way Crawford is slowing down Jason Kidd. I dont think Isiah would put Fred Jones on Kidd because Jamal would have to guard Vince Carter. We will most likely see Crawford guarding Kidd for most of the game. Im not expecting him to play defense, Im just hoping that he is efficient of offense.

Lets take a look at what they need to do to win tonight:

  • Get back on defense!!! Jason Kidd is known for running the fastbreak and finding open teammates, stop the ball
  • Dont let big guys score: The Nets have a tough 1 2 3 punch with Kidd, Carter and Jefferson. They cant let the other players have big nights
  • Look for Eddy Curry down low, he had a good game the last time these 2 teams played
  • Move the ball and look for good shots, play as a team

As we all know the Knicks have problems with their perimeter defense. New Jersey is not one of the better perimeter teams in the league but that doesnt mean that you can leave them wide open. Heres a list of the best 3 point shooters on the Nets:

  1. Vince Carter-35.8%
  2. Richard Jefferson-33.8%
  3. Darrel Armstrong-33%
  4. Jason Kidd-32.5%

The last time the Knicks played the Nets, Malik Allen and Jason Collins were the starting power forward and center. Since then, the Nets have wisely decided to go young with Sean Williams and Josh Boone. Williams is averaging just over 2 blocks a game. Hes very good at running the floor and finishing plays way above the rim. He doesnt have the strenght to match up with Zach Randolph but Z-Bo doesnt have the speed or conditioning to be chasing Williams up and down the court.

Josh Boone as a starter is averaging about 10pts and 8.5rbs in 29 minutes of play. At 6'10" 237 pounds Curry should be able to go right through him.

Nate Robinson should be able to come into the game and make an impact especially if the much slower Jason Kidd is guarding him. Balkmans defense and energy can make a big difference off the bench. If Q-Rich as expected returns to his normal form (not being able to hit a shot, poor defense) then Balkmans defense will be needed to slow down one of the top 10 ugliest players in the league, Richard Jefferson. As always David Lee will be a big factor off the bench. If Isiah doesnt like the way Z-Bo or Eddy is playing early on Lee will be their replacement and hes one of the few players on this team that you can consistently depend on too bring energy and make an impact.

That wraps it up for my pregame show, Im Jazzy Jeff and I thank everyone for joining me. Catch the Knicks and the Nets on MSG tonight.