The Knicks are on a winning streak for the first time since acquiring Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, and it came at a good time. Beginning tonight, New York heads out on a challenging two game road swing against Western Conference teams with winning records. First up are the solid Memphis Grizzlies, who in a loaded West, currently sit in playoff position.
Anthony and Amare Stoudemire catapulted the Knicks (33-29) to their best offensive performance of the season in their last outing, a 131-109 domination of the Utah Jazz on Monday night. It was the first time Anthony eclipsed the 30-point plateau in Orange and Blue, and the Knicks would love to see him continue putting up big numbers for the next few games. He's familiar with Memphis from all his years in the Western Conference, and has averaged 29.1 points in his past seven outings against the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies (36-29) are a very good offensive team. They can give the Knicks a lot of trouble if New York forgets about the defensive end, which they seem to do routinely. Former Knick Zach Randolph is having a fabulous season, leading Memphis in scoring with 20.2 points per game. Z-Bo, as always, is up there in the league in rebounding numbers, trailing only Kevin Love and Dwight Howard in 'bounds per game this season. Without the services of second leading scorer Rudy Gay recently, the Grizzlies haven't missed a beat. Mike Conley and Tony Allen have picked up some of the scoring slack, both scoring 20 points in Memphis' last game, and impressive home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Both teams could be without key players. The Knicks could be without Billups for the fifth straight game with a bum quadriceps, while Memphis will be missing the services of second leading scorer Rudy Gay, who remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.