Since the Lakers defeated the Knicks 95-90 Dec. 23 at Madison Square Garden, New York has gone 6-10, losing their last game two nights ago at Golden State by a basket, 106-104. However, prior to the loss, the Knicks had been playing extremely solid basketball, winning five of seven games, including victories over playoff-bound Washington and Detroit. Before the recent success, New York endured a 1-9 slide that still has the Knicks firmly planted in last place in the Atlantic Division.
In their last matchup, Kobe Bryant dominated New York, scoring 39 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in what is quickly becoming a tradition of playing well against the Knicks. In fact, Kobe is averaging 36.8 points against the Jamal Crawford and Co. in his last five games against them.
Knicks guard Nate Robinson has been on a tear of his own of late, scoring 22 points and dishing out eight assists in his latest game against the Warriors. In his last nine games, Robinson is averaging almost 16 points and over five assists a game. The Lakers should already be fully aware of the 5’9″ guard’s potential though after he scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high nine rebounds in the L.A.’s December win.
The Knicks are one of the most balanced teams in the league with six players averaging at least 9.5 points, led by Crawford’s 20. The Knicks will be without one of those six though tonight as the latest saga in the Stephon Marbury drama has him out with bone spurs in his left ankle.
Tonight’s game against the Lakers is the second of a five game road trip for the Knicks that will take them to Salt Lake City tomorrow night before moving on to Portland and Seattle. New York has lost a whopping ten straight road games to Western Conference teams so this trip may mark an end to their recent period of success.