Gametime: 7:30 p.m. EST
Last year's Knicks are similar to this year's in little more than their roster's nucleus. Despite a return to being healthy, they had many of the same troubles they had before. And now they're back to being ravaged by injuries. Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin are both out a couple weeks with ankle sprains, Andrea Bargnani is out indefinitely with a torn ligament in his left elbow and Metta World Peace has a strained left knee that will keep him out for another few weeks.
New York's offense and defense have been a comprehensive disaster with huge regressions from J.R. Smith, last year's 6th Man of the Year, and Raymond Felton, both of whom can't jump shots to save their lives this season. Last year's defense wasn't great either but got by on excessive switching with exceptional defensive play from Tyson Chandler. This is not the case this year.
Bad things are bound to happen when your second-best scorer behind Melo is Andrea Barganani.
Defensively, the Knicks seem to have a system like last year's but built without any of the awareness. Switching confuses their players a lot and puts them out of position more than it shuts down opponents. We'll see how much the Bobcats can take advantage of this without Knick-killer Kemba Walker, but Charlotte has been able to take care of business in his absence so far.
However, they tend to have a positive outcome when putting Melo at power forward beside Chandler and with Felton, Prigioni and Shumpert on the floor. Without Bargnani, perhaps they'll run this lineup to some effect, but due to injuries and Mike Woodson thinking they have to play big, they've only run it in three games this year.
But for now, I'll leave you with this: