After a disheartening defeat to Jeremy Lin, Toney Douglas, and the new-look Houston Rockets, the Knicks will look to avenge their first home court loss, against the Nets on Wednesday.
The two teams have already begun to have a heated inner-city rivalry, so far splitting the season series at one a piece. While Brooklyn shocked New York with a commanding loss earlier in the year, Jason Kidd's heroics helped his new team deflate the Nets on their home court during the two teams' second meeting of the year.
Just as the Knicks showed a bit of resiliency in their latter efforts against Brooklyn, the Nets once again stand in New York's way of helping fans forget all about another demoralizing loss.
New York's feeble effort on offense against Houston was largely in part due to the absence of Carmelo Anthony, who missed his second straight game on Monday. With a bevy of other games scheduled for this week, Coach Mike Woodson's squad will be taking it light on the practice side of things. Still taking things slowly as of Tuesday morning, Carmelo Anthony told reporters he was he playing it "smart," but still had hopes of competing against Brooklyn.
With Anthony sidelined, the likes of Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith need to step up on the offensive end, and embrace their roles/abilities as dominant scorers. The Knicks undoubtedly need a go-to-guy against an opponent like the Nets. With no sure starring attraction, New York needs to allow Felton to pour in the points, while also embracing Smith as the squad's temporary Melo.
As the Knicks continue to crave an offensive boost from any which direction, it's well-worth noting that Amar'e Stoudemire hit the hardwood with New York's D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks. The NBADL squad was in town to use the Knickerbockers' training facility, and while they were, it provided STAT a chance to participate in a full practice.
While I don't normally like to cross-promote, as many of you may know, I also serve as Managing Editor at RidiculousUpside.com on SB Nation. With the blog's focus all about minor league basketball, our thoughts regarding Stoudemire's NBADL stint are certainly worth a look.
In addition to the six-time all-star, Chris Copeland and James White also participated in practice with the BayHawks. But with the likes of Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby still out until potentially next week with respective foot injuries, expect the younger pair to still be ready to go against Brooklyn.
Hopefully the Knicks can come out with some extra energy to start the contest in order to take control early. I'll be a guest-host during KnicksNow.com's live game coverage, so be sure to head over there to join in on the chatter!