Pre-Game Report: Lakers @ Knicks

Projected Starting Lineups:

Derek Fisher – Raymond Felton

Kobe Bryant – Landry Fields

Ron Artest – Danillo Gallinari

Pau Gasol – Amar’e Stoudemire

Andrew Bynum – Timofey Mozgov

The Lakers have won their last three road games after topping off the Boston Celtics Thursday night. Kobe dropped 20 of his 23 points in the second half and nailed a dagger fade-away jumper over Ray Allen in the final minute. With the Lakers redeeming themselves, Kobe and crew have looked better than ever this season. Lamar Odom had a superb game in Boston, hustling on the defensive end with three blocks and 12 total rebounds. As Odom said after the game on 710 ESPN radio “We can’t be satisfied with only one great game,” as the New York Knicks are next in back-to-back road games.

The New York Knicks were once highly raved about early in the season when they started their first 37 games with a 22-15 record. Since then, they have fallen to a 4-10 record and are a near .500 team. Wilson Chandler has been battling a sore left calf and is trying to make his way back into the starting line-up. Stoudemire, who has been getting MVP chants at Madison Square Garden, is the third highest points per game leader in the league with 26.2 points per game.

Coach Mike D’Antoni of the New York Knicks recently stated to Knicks fans “not to chant for Melo during games.” Many feel that the Anthony rumors are a distraction since the Knicks have been struggling lately.

In the last Lakers and Knicks meeting in Los Angeles, the purple and gold punished the Knickerbockers by 22 points, led by Kobe Bryant’s 27 and Pau Gasol’s 20 points.

Keys to Lakers victory:

Stay strong on defense – Mike D’Antoni’s all about offense. If the Lakers stop the Knicks on every possession they try to run down court, their offense will work itself because defense isn’t always worked upon in D’Antoni’s book.

Knicks love 3′s – With Fisher, Bryant, and Artest on the perimeter, Knicks guards and forwards will be contested on shots from beyond the arc. The Knicks are second in the league in 3-point attempts, jacking up 24.7 shots per game.

Rebound! – The Lakers out-rebounded the Knicks last game 61-42 and picked up the blowout victory.

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