The New York Knicks(14-31) vs The Portland Trail Blazers(26-19)
Fri. 2/1 at 10:30pm ET on MSG
Welcome to the MSGKnickz33 Pregame show, Im your host Jazzy Jeff and were here to take a look at Friday nights matchup. The Blazers have won 4 out of their last 10 games. Their record is 26 and 19 but suprisingly they are only 9th in the Western Conference, not even in the playoffs. In the East they would be one of the best teams. The Knicks lost their 3rd straight game lasat night against the Utah Jazz. A poor 1st half and poor perimeter offense prevented the Knicks from ending a 2 game losing streak. They have now lost their first 3 of 5 games on this West coast trip.
The Portland Trail Blazers
AND NOW YOUR NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS!!!!
AT POINT GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD
AT SHOOTING GUARD FRED JONES
AT SMALL FORWARD QUENTIN RICHARDSON
AT POWER FORWARD ZACH RANDOLPH
AT CENTER EDDY CURRY
*Quentin Richardson and Eddy Curry are both listed as day to day
MSG33 PresEnTs the KeY MatChuP: Lamarcus Aldridge vs Zach Randolph
This was really my only option for the key matchup. At least statistically it should be an interesting matchup with the former teammates going head to head. Aldridge is not as good of a rebounder as Randolph but hes a better team player and defender. He doesnt have the jumpshot either but whats so good about having a good jumpshot when you shoot at the wrong times, against double teams and triple teams?
Zach Randolph Last 5 Games
Z-Bo's been averaging 9 more minutes over the last 5 games. There stats would be closer if they were both getting the same amount of playing time except for the turnovers. Aldridge was often compared to Channing Frye when they first came into the league. Hes clearly the better player of the 2 now. Lamarcus doesnt do anything great or incredible but hes consistent and solid. Hes a starter, Frye is a role player. Zach Randolph is 2 inches shorter but hes heavier. He should be able to get good positioning down low but it is more likely that he will look to take 18 foot jumpshots.
The Official MSG33 Pregame Strategy:
- Portland = 7th best team defensively (95.5pts allowed).....Move the Ball!!!
- Perimeter Defense Needed!!!! Blazers=2nd best 3 point shooting (39%)
- Play Physical Down Low!!!!!(no homo)......Blazers-28th rebounding (40.2rpg)
- Find a way to contain Brandon Roy.....He is the player that makes this team go by doing a little bit of everything
*A special thanks goes to NYKnicks15 for the new smaller spotlight
David Lee deserves to have the spotlight
Eddy Curry:"No Homo"
Recently I have neglected to mention David Lees excellent play. Hes a very consistent player and is always deserving of some praise. You dont see Lee having a good week then a bad week. Many Knicks fans feel like Lee should be getting more minutes. He could have his chance tomorrow night if Eddy Curry misses the game with the Flu.
David Lee Last 5 Games
Lee's even showing he has some (not much) shot blocking ability. Compared to Randolph and curry .6 blocks isnt too bad. He is a better team player then both of them and he brings more energy and heart.
Eastern Conference Standings
The Official Playoff Race: Knicks are 5 games out
Lets compare numbers from the first 3 months of the NBA season.
November(5-11):Opponents Points per game=101.5
December(3-11):Opponents Points per game=102.6
January(6-10):Opponents Points per game=98.8
The rebounds are down(-1.95) but the assists are up(+4.6). We are also playing better defense but the game against Detroit where the Pistons only scored 65 points brings down the average. Without that game the Knicks are allowing 101.1 points per game this month. What a difference that one game makes. I suprised myself with this stat. That rarely happens. It appears as if we are playing better defense but without that Detroit game were still a below average team defensively. 101.1 points allowed per game would be the 21st worst defense in the NBA.
Trail Blazers Top 3 Point shooters
- James Jones-50%
- Steve Blake-45%
- Travis Outlaw-44%
- Martell Webster-38.4%
- Brandon Roy-33.8%
- Jarret Jack-33.3%
Despite the Blazers not playing as well lately they are a tough young team that will continue to get better. Joel Pryzbilla is an underrated center who is capable of rebounding and blocking shots. In only 21 minutes of play he averages 7.1rbs and 1.2blks per game. Martell Webster is a solid all around player who does a good job of taking care of the ball and playing within a team system.
The Blazers also have an underrated bench. James Jones can come off the bench and put points on the board quickly. Hes the best 3 point shooter on the Blazers so the Knicks will have to do more then keep their eye on him. They need to be on his case like Columbo. (I like Columbo better then Sherlock Holmes) Jarret Jack is not really that good. He averages 2.2 turnovers in only 26 mintues of play. I thought he would be better then this. Travis Outlaw is clutch and he can shoot. He can be a potential Knick killer. Hes a very versatile player that does some of everything kind of like Darius Miles but better.
The Last player I want to talk about is the former Knick Channing Frye. I've been hard on him in the past (no homo) but I was partially right/partially wrong. After watching Portland more there are games where he comes in and makes an impact by working hard and playing within the team system. Theres other games where he looks soft and lost. Im still not a big Channing Frye fan, I just wish they used him in a better trade. He would prove to be valuable now with talks of a Ron Artest trade going on.
Throwback HipHop Video of the Day:
Artist:Big Pun feat. Prodigy & Inspectah Deck
That does it for my pregame show. I thank everyone for joining me and remember to tune in Friday night to catch the Knicks and the Blazers.