After a reasonably quiet trade deadline that saw the Raptors (22-33) add some much needed depth at the point guard position in the form of one Sebastian Telfair, the Raps will welcome the division-leading New York Knicks (32-19) to the ACC for their second matchup in just over a week. The last matchup was the two teams’ first encounters with one another this season and featured a gutty 92-88 Raptors win in which DeMar and Alan Anderson shined while the more highly touted Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay wallowed. Apparently Carmelo was nursing an injury during the last matchup, and so he should be better tonight (it’s tough to envision him going 7 for 21 again), so the Raptors will need to put forth a strong team effort to pull off the upset, even on their home court and with recent history on their side.

This season, the Knicks have morphed into a European-style three-point shooting team under the tutelage of Mike Woodson, and while the focal point of their offense is undeniably Anthony, it’ll be on the Raptor wings to contain the other Knick shooters when they get their opportunities. As you can see from the tale of the tape below, the Raps have been reasonably strong at controlling the number of 3-pointers their opponents take, so that’s a good sign. In order for their defensive rotations to be effective, though, there’ll be plenty of strain on the Raptor bigs down low to contain Tyson Chandler on the pick-and-roll and offensive rebounding, which could be problematic for Bargnani (I’d prefer to see him matched up in a 1-on-1 defensive situation on the outside – maybe he could do some work on Carmelo, though DeMar, Gay, and Anderson all did a good job containing him last week). Expect to see a hefty helping of Aaron Gray when Amir needs a blow, though I’d imagine the Raptors will go small more often than not to counteract the Knicks’ “Anthony at PF” look.

Tale of the Tape
O-Rating: New York 111.5 (3rd), Toronto 107.0 (12th)
D-Rating: New York 107.0 (16th), Toronto 108.1 (23rd)
Pace: New York 92.6 (24th), Toronto 92.3 (26th)
Strength: Both Ball Control (New York 1st, Toronto 2nd), New York Three-Point Shooting (2nd in makes, 6th in 3FG%), Toronto Guarding Threes (6th fewest opponent attempts/game)
Weakness: Toronto Opponent Points in Paint (26th), New York Opponent Shooting at Rim (23rd)

Positional Breakdown
Point Guards: Kyle Lowry, Sebastian Telfair and John Lucas III v. Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni
The Knicks are a tough team to slot, as you could make a case for Jason Kidd to be included here, but he’s been starting at shooting guard and is more of a Steve Kerr type at this point in his career than anything else. Lowry should have the advantage over Felton on both offense and defence, and the arrival of Telfair will take some pressure off Lucas to create for his teammates and just be a scoring sparkplug, if needed. Here’s hoping Lowry can stay on the court, this time.

Wings: Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Alan Anderson and Terrence Ross v. Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Steve Novak
Two pretty deep groups here, but Carmelo is clearly the strongest player of the group, so advantage goes to the Knicks. DeMar was key in the last matchup as there isn’t really anyone on the Knicks who can contain him when his offensive game is clicking on all cylinders, and he should be again tonight. It’ll be on Rudy to try and mitigate the advantage Carmelo will give the Knicks, and on everyone else to stop Smith, Kidd, and Novak from heating up from long range. Hopefully Terrence Ross will get a bit of run tonight against a group of shooters – it should be a bit easier to hide his inability to stop slashers.
Bigs: Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas, Andrea Bargnani, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy v. Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kurt Thomas, and Chris Copeland
Advantage: Knicks
Chandler is the reason the Knicks have the advantage here, but the Raptor group as a whole is far more solid from top to bottom. I’d love to see the Raptors go big for stretches to try and wear down Carmelo, but I’d imagine Casey will go with reaction, rather than action, as he is want to do, and counteract the Knicks’ small-ball lineup with one of his own. Dare to dream.

The Picks

Vegas: Knicks -2.5
Hollinger: Raptors -0.5
Garrett: Those Hollinger odds sure love the Raptors, but it’s tough to see them going 2-0 against the Knicks in the span of just 10 days. That being said, I think the Raps match up well with the Knicks, and barring a Carmelo explosion (which is extremely possible), I’ll be optimistic and predict the Raptors by 3.

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28 Responses to “Gameday: Knicks @ Raptors, Feb. 22”

  1. Zied

    The Rudy honeymoon is over. Fans are ready to love their new star…but he better not try to get out of his shooting slump the same way he got into it. Drive my man…drive.


      “And as long as we’re winning, I’ll do whatever, just be on the
      perimeter and open the floor for the big fellas, then that’s what I’ll


      I wouldn’t  count on it. 

      And he was also “…..drafted eighth overall by the Grizzlies in 2006 out of
      Connecticut, admitted that he was stunned and angered by the trade. He
      wanted to “see it through” before the team’s new ownership and
      management decided to break up what he saw as a championship-caliber

       & “one day thinking you’re competing for a championship and the next day you’re getting shipped off somewhere.”
      – RG

      Rudy needs to show the L he wasn’t “the problem” in Memphis.
      And showcase for the future: “”It’s been very clear that (Gay and his representatives) want to
      obviously see how this plays out, to be in a situation that’s
      competitive”  – BC

      • DumbassKicker

        All the irrelevant trivia aside, have you had that enema yet. It might help avoid the optrectumy surgery.

        • FLUXLAND

          “Grow some fn balls and get away from dissing anonymous people through childish name calling behind the fence.”  – your words, I believe.

          If we could only all see the world in  your hypocritical ways, right?

    • cdub

      Rudy drives a lot, problem is his driving into 2 or 3 guys.  He needs to pass.  We lose one game (barely) to Memphis and all the bipolars come out of the woodwork.  There is no denying how much better a team we are defensively with him in the lineup. Offfensive efficiencies aside, theres lots of games to be played still.


    Wait, wait, wait. So now our average PG is just under 6 feet and weighs 168lbs? 

    This must’ve been the Andre Barrett signing of the year for BC; his lovefest for diminutive PGs that he can sell as underdogs to the Raptors faithful never ends.


    Garrett, a rebounding mention?  And Blake with one for the Grizz game?  You kids make me proud!   *tear*

    • FAQ

      yes ….but he is of the street-balling variety …Drives, dimes, cross-overs, and not running any plays will fit in just fine with the new edition of the Rats …I can see the t.h.fs blowin’ up at the ACC tonite for their beloved Ratpors …ya think!?

      • FLUXLAND

        But why is everyone suddenly losing their minds overs DC?  He stated before the season started this will be an “offensive democracy”, the equivalent of the linguicied “freestyle” version of all BC’s teams. And for that matter why are we now raising the bar from “he makes them bring effort” (Bobby Knight just punched a baby, somewhere) to “maybe he should, like you know, use a clipboard and stuff”.  Where coaching, not only player, development happens, I guess. 

        Makes no sense, especially now that all the excuses have been set: bunk start due to “gelling”; post trade wackness due to “gelling”.  And you know, all DC will need now is a …you guessed it… “full training camp”!

        Btw, as skinny and undersized as this outfit is (and all BCs ever), it’s no wonder you see Rats out there.  Shout-out to my main man, Juan Dixon. 

        • DumbassKicker

          If only they would hire an internet basketball genius like you, every problem would be solved.

          • FLUXLAND

            Original. And of course basketball is rocket science, some apologist will have you believe. 

  3. Statement

    I’ve been a criticizer of Bargs’ game since 2007, but even I’m starting to feel bad for the guy.

    There is no need to boo him or cheer when he leaves the court.  This is on Colangelo.

      • mountio

        didnt know .. missed the first half. Didnt notice him in street clothes .. but maybe I missed it. In any event, we need to get AA off the court. At least LF knows he has no offensive game and thus doesnt shoot

  4. mountio

    BTW – what happened to the live chat? I need it to let my AA frustrations out .. 
    Is it coming back or gone for good?

  5. Darien

    It’s official. Calderon took team ball with him on the way to Detroit. We just play streetball now.

  6. cdub

    I don’t understand Caseys obsession with AA.  He almost blew the game coughing up our entire lead early in the 4th. 


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