After winning four straight games following the All-Star break, the Golden State Warriors ran into the suffocating defense of the Chicago Bulls and couldn’t find any ways to score consistently. Coming off a loss, they will look to bounce back against the struggling New York Knicks, who are 3-9 in February and are currently on a four-game losing streak.
Frontcourt: The Knicks like playing small, starting J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler up front. Anthony is always lethal at the power forward position, creating all kinds of mismatches. While he can pull out big men to the perimeter, he can struggle defending the stronger power forwards. Chandler remains the defensive anchor, although he doesn’t get much help. Smith, replacing Iman Shumpert, remains an erratic shooter who can either give his team a lift or be a major liability.
Backcourt: Last year the Knicks had some success running two point guards in the backcourt with Pablo Prigioni and Raymond Felton, but they haven’t really clicked this season. Prigioni remains a rather reliable playmaker, but Felton is having a terrible season and his off-court problems just compound the Knicks’ issues.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
New York allows 1.18 points per play in transition, which ranks 29th in the league. We saw this against the Miami Heat on Thursday and we’ve seen a whole lot of it throughout the year — the Knicks are very lazy when it comes to getting back. On one possession LeBron James took the ball after the Knicks scored, dribbled it across the floor and got a completely open dunk. There are a lot of easy points to be had in transition against New York, and it’s something the Warriors need to collectively take advantage of.
Limit Carmelo Anthony
Even though Anthony has been on fire lately, it really feels like everything has to click for the Knicks to win a basketball game. That being said, Melo has not only been scoring in bunches, he’s been very efficient, shooting over 50% in five of his last seven games. Andre Iguodala has guarded Anthony many times in the past and if he can at least limit his efficient looks, the Warriors should have a huge advantage.
New York Knicks (21-37) vs. Golden State Warriors (35-23)
5:00 PM PST, February 28, 2014
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Knicks Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Pablo Prigioni
SF: J.R. Smith
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler
Key Reserves: G Tim Hardaway Jr. F Amar’e Stoudemire G Shannon Brown