Pre-Game News and Notes
Hawks vs. Knicks
Wednesday night will be the last regular season game for the Knicks and Hawks before heading into the playoffs, but will be taking different approaches into the finale. The Knicks have literally nothing to play for, as their seed is locked in and are just looking to get to the playoffs without suffering anymore injuries. As for the Hawks, they are playing for the fifth or sixth seed. If they win tonight they will face off against the Nets in the first round, if they lose and the Bulls win they will face off against the Pacers. This will be third time that the Knicks and Hawks faceoff this season, with the Knicks winning the first two meetings.
-New Face, Same Place
The Knicks have made some roster moves in the last couple of days, continuing to try and make the best team from 2005 and continuing the moniker of, “Once a Knick, Always a Knick” with the signing of Quentin Richardson and Earl Barron.
Both players have previous histories with the Knicks and Richardson has a real chance to become a player in the playoffs. Barron is here because of the retirement of Rasheed Wallace today, opening up a roster spot the Knicks elected to fill with a player they know.
As for Richardson, no one knows what type of shape he is in but his history shows that he can help the Knicks in the playoffs. He is a tough-nosed player that is not afraid to mix it up, getting into it throughout his previous stint with the Knicks with the likes of Paul Pierce and Lebron James, two of the people the Knicks will presumably have to get through to reach the NBA Finals. He can also shoot the three ball, something the Knicks offense is predicated on. Richardson has a chance to make the rotation ahead of players like Chris Copeland and Steve Novak because of his defensive prowess he has shown throughout his career.
-Scoring Champion Is…
He will not suit up tonight, but Carmelo Anthony looks as if he will be the scoring champion this year in the NBA. He currently sits 0.6 points ahead of Kevin Durant, who is also supposed to sit out his last game of the season. Anthony would become the first Knick to lead the NBA in scoring since the 1984-1985 season when Bernard King won the scoring title.
-Get Out of Here Unscathed
With the playoffs starting this weekend, Saturday most likely for the Knicks, the goal will be to get out of the game tonight with no more injuries happening. Anthony, J.R. Smith, Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler are all out Wednesday to get them ready for the playoffs, meaning the reserves will see big minutes again.
Most likely the Knicks will have very few players available to play in the game tonight, meaning big minutes for the likes of Iman Shumpert, Copeland, Steve Novak and the new comers Richardson and Barron again tonight.