The Knicks bring their four-game winning streak to Philly tonight, fresh off their win at MSG over Toronto last night. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, short rest would've been a killer for the Knicks, but under Mike Woodson they've been using their bench more.
It's probably no surprise the Knicks have played better defense when Woodson has actually played their poor defenders less (Melo, Amare and Lin have all averaged less than 30 minutes/game over the course of this streak) and their capable defenders off the bench more.
Unfortunately, for the Knicks, the only thing they have even remotely resembling a competent defender at the PG position is Toney Douglas, who has been glued to the bench. This means they're going to have to play either Lin or Bibby most of the time, which also means the Sixers will have an easily-exploited mismatch on the perimeter at all times (except when Jodie Meeks is in the game).
It all starts with Jrue tonight. Get in Lin's head early, pressure the hell out of him, make him pick up his dribble and attack him on the other end. The other Sixers need to work extra hard to deny the ball to their men. Stay with Lin and take away his easy release valves. Against the pick and roll, the bigs need to do a better job of helping than they have over the past couple of games.
Turner had a great game against the Knicks a week-and-a-half ago, I'd love to see a repeat. His tally is 4 really good games and 4 pretty bad games as a starter. The team is 4-4 since moving him into the starting lineup.
The tip is at 7pm, on ESPN. This is your game thread. I'll be right here throughout, join me if you loathe the Knicks half as much as I do.
Prediction: PHI 96, NYK 82