Before the season, the Knicks/76ers game on Wednesday, Jan. 11 looked like it'd be a tough early season test for one of the teams. However, most probably didn't think it'd be the Knicks.
But that's exactly what it will be for New York when they host Philadelphia at Madison Square Garden tonight. The Sixers enter the game as one of the hottest (and maybe best?) teams in the NBA. At 7-2, they've won six in a row and have dominated their opponents along the way. Heading into the game, the Sixers rank third in the NBA in scoring and first in points allowed. Perhaps the main advantage the Knicks could have is that this will the the third game in as many nights for the Sixers.
The 5-4 Knicks are on a streak of their own. After two poor home losses last week to the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats, the Knicks have won three straight, albeit against weak opposition in the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Bobcats (in fairness, the Sixers have wins over mostly poor teams during their streak, the Indiana Pacers the exception).
The Knicks will look to shut down the balanced Sixers offense that has nearly seven players who are averaging double figures in points per game (Elton Brand is averaging 9.6). Last season, Brand turned back the clock on the Knicks, averaging 26.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in four games versus the Knicks. All eyes will be on the much-questioned Knicks defense, which has shown a few signs of turning things around since giving up 118 points to the Bobcats four games ago.