The Toronto Raptors (22-33) play host to divisional rivals New York Knicks (32-19) tonight and hope to bounce back after Wednesday night’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Both teams last met right before the All-Star break in February 13th in New York, with the Raptors coming out on top.
Cage’s 5 Keys To The Game
1. Carmelo Anthony
This should go without saying but slowing down Carmelo Anthony will be key. He is a prolific scorer with an average of 28.3 points per game. He has great size and can score from literally anywhere on the court. Rudy Gay and Alan Anderson will have their hands full tonight. Anthony shot 5-24 in his last meeting against the Raptors.
2. Perimeter Defence
The Knicks take and make more three-point shots than any other team in the league so it is no surprise that they need to be guarded tightly out there. Anthony, JR Smith, Jason Kidd, Raymon Felton, Steve Novak, and Pablo Prigioni are all capable shooters. The Raptors will need to be on top of their game on the outside.
3. Bench Production
The Knicks have a very formidable bench with the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Smith, Novak, and Prigioni. They Raptors will need to be able to match their scoring punch or they will quickly find themselves in a hole.
4. Point Guard Battle
Felton and Kidd are a very good one-two punch in the backcourt. Knicks coach Mike Woodson likes to play both of them together to create mismatches and get the ball moving. Kyle Lowry will need to be on top of his game to slow down the flow of the Knicks offence.
5. Rudy Gay
Raptors fans now know what Gay is capable of. He has been solidified as our number one option and for good reason; he’s damn good. As good as he’s been, he still has a few flaws; he needs to get to the line more, be more efficient with his shots and pass more.
Tonight’s X-Factor will be DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan had a bad game this past Wednesday scoring only seven points on nine shots. With most of the defensive attention going to Gay, DeRozan needs to be as aggressive as possible if the Raptors hope to win.
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