Seconds out! Round three of New York’s Battle of the Boroughs takes place tonight at Madison Square Garden (7pm ET, ESPN) and, with the season series tied at one win apiece, tickets prices for the game are historically high.
Atlanta Hawks (12-6) at Orlando Magic (8-12), 7 p.m. (ET)
The Orlando Magic will be defending their home turf tonight against the Atlanta Hawks as they face off in this Eastern Conference rivalry. Both teams are fighting to keep the pace within the Southeast division, as the defending champions Miami Heat maintain a stronghold on first place.
This game is important for the Atlanta Hawks, who ended a three game win streak as they fell to the Miami Heat Monday night. Atlanta knows they must win against weaker teams such as Orlando if they wish to maintain second place within the division.
That’s easier said than done for the Hawks, as Orlando is well rested and fresh off a 5 game road stint that began with a huge upset over the Los Angeles Lakers. Orlando got the best of its former superstar Dwight Howard, and despite his 20 point 15 rebounds effort he still managed to miss 12 free throws, possibly blowing the game for the Lakers. Howard was drafted by Orlando in 2004, where he spent the first 8 sucessful seasons of his career with the Magic.
The other day as I was listening to sports radio in New York, the topic of conversation came up about how the Mike D’Antoni New York Knicks era was considered a massive failure. While Michael Kay, one of the hosts disagreed, citing that originally D’Antoni was never put in a position to succeed; fans were calling into the show to lambast the former Knicks, and current Lakers coach. While D’Antoni never won a playoff game with the Knicks, and in the end ended up quitting on the team, the Mike D’Antoni era in New York was far from a failure, in fact, it accomplished everything it set out to.
On the radio, Michael Kay argued that for the first two years of his tenure as Knicks Head Coach, D’Antoni was never even given a chance to succeed. Team president Donnie Walsh was brought in to New York with one job, to clear cap space so the Knicks could make a run at Lebron James during the summer of 2010. As Kay said, every time the Knicks found a player that was becoming productive under the D’Antoni system, they would trade him to clear cap space, therefore D’Antoni never had a good team at his disposal.
New York Knicks @ Charlotte Bobcats
New York Knicks (12-4) travel south to face the Charlotte Bobcats (7-9) at 7 p.m. (ET)
The New York Knicks will begin their three game road stint tonight as they take on the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. After suffering a close lost to the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks have reeled off three straight wins. Their most recent victory over Phoenix came on the heels of a 34 point effort by Carmelo Anthony, the league’s second leading scorer.
With a 1.5 game lead over their Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks know that each game counts. Head coach Mike Woodson understands that every team in the NBA is tough, and doesn’t expect his guys to overlook tonight’s matchup against the Charlotte Bobcats.
"Every game is not going to be a runaway or blowout for us and you have got to give them credit. They played hard, they were scrapping down the stretch and made a game out of it," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said about the Suns. "At the end of the night, we closed it out and was able to get the 'W.' That's what counts." –Sports Network
The Miami Heat (12-3) head to our nation's capital to take on the Washington Wizards (1-13). Tip-off is set for 7 PM ET.
The Miami Heat are well rested and coming off a big win against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. Dwayne Wade scored a season high 34 points and added seven assists, while LeBron James chipped in with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Wade had been dealing with migraines, but the only headache Saturday was the one he gave Brooklyn. Wade has been hot lately, averaging 24.8 points per game during Miami’s four game homestand, and has reached the charity stripe 7.3 times per game over that span.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had this to say after Miami’s recent win over the Nets:
"This was a step forward game for us. It was good to see our guys connected again. We didn't necessarily play great basketball in the first half but in the some ways this was our best win. This was our best game in terms of connection, communication and commitment to each other." -SB Nation Tampa Bay