Game Details: Rose Garden, Portland, OR. 7:00 PM. TV: CSN. Radio: KXTG (95.5 FM).
Projected Portland Starting Lineup: PG Andre Miller (#24, 6’2’’, Utah), SG Wesley Matthews (#2, 6’5’’, Marquette), SF Nicolas Batum (#88, 6’9’’, France), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (#12, 6’11’’, Texas), C Marcus Camby (#23, 6’11’’, UMass)
Projected New York Starting Lineup: PG Raymond Felton (#2, 6’1″, North Carolina), SG Landry Fields (#6, 6’7″, Stanford), SF Wilson Chandler (#21, 6’8″, DePaul), PF Amar’e Stoudemire (#1, 6’10″, Cypress Creek High School), C Ronny Turiaf (#14, 6’10″, Gonzaga)
Both the Knicks and the Trail Blazers have come a long way since they met in New York in the first week of the season. The Blazers pulled out a win in that game after nearly letting it get away from them in the second half. But both teams’ rotations at the beginning of the season were still developing. Brandon Roy had a huge game in Madison Square Garden, and he obviously won’t be a factor tonight. On the Knicks’ side, that game came early enough in the season that Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton had yet to truly gel as an effective pick-and-roll combo–they’ve clicked in a big way since then.
The matchup to watch tonight is, of course, at the power forward position. Stoudemire has been playing at an MVP level all season, and LaMarcus Aldridge has made that leap in the past month. Granted, the last time these teams played, Roy was still in the Blazers’ lineup and Aldridge was decidedly a secondary piece, but the way he’s stepped up to the plate as Portland’s go-to scoring option has made all the difference for them lately. LaMa