1- FACT or FICTION. Bobcats were 55.3% from field and 63.6% behind the arc in last week’s win at MSG. Knicks should be prepared for same offensive attack from Charlotte.
Spencer Percy: FICTION. Last week’s offensive outburst in the garden was by far the best of the season for the Bobcats, but it will not be repeated tonight. The Knicks are far from a good defensive team and that influenced the inflated offensive numbers for Charlotte in last week’s game, but there will be a big measure of pride in tonight’s matchup. Knicks have been far from impressive this year, but they’re not going to let what happened last week on their floor happen again tonight.
Brett Hainline: FICTION. Just playing the odds here, but the Bobcats aren’t that great of an offensive threat, and the Knicks, while bad defensively, aren’t that bad. And the Bobcats brought Reggie Williams in to be a deep threat – he’s still out, so don’t look for the Bobcats to go DeadEye from deep again.
Bryan Wendland: FICTION. Boris Diaw missed just three shots and D.J. Augustin ate Toney Douglas alive on his way to a stellar 14 point, 10 assist, six rebound night last time the Bobcats played New York. Knicks rookie, Iman Shumpert plays a brand of defense the Garden Faithful haven’t seen since the 1990s, and that’s who Augustin will have to deal with this time around. Also, after Diaw’s past two performances, I just don’t see him having another 12-15 (FG), 3-3 (3pt) shooting night. Gerald Henderson is the key for the ‘Cats tonight; If he can torch Landry Fields like he did last time the two matched up, Charlotte’s shooting could still be formidable and spell trouble for the ‘Bockers.
2- FACT or FICTION. Tyrus Thomas will get on track and record his first double-double of the season.
Spencer Percy: FACT. Thomas was clearly more active on the boards against Indiana Saturday night and also more comfortable shooting the ball. He’s clearly shaking off some rust through two games, but tonight’s presumed up-tempo pace will help him get open look from his beloved corner spot and also allow him to mix it up around the rim. Let’s face it, the Knicks don’t really believe in boxing out and Thomas is aggressive attacking offensive glass. I’m sensing a big game from Tyrus tonight.
Brett Hainline: FICTION. With Tyrus likely to see time against both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, I don’t know if he’ll stay out of foul trouble long enough to get the minutes needed to gather 10 rebounds. Would love to be wrong on this one.
Bryan Wendland: FACT. Thomas has played well in his first two games back from injury. He’s also logged significant minutes in those games, so it looks like his ankle really is 100 percent. While Knicks’ center, Tyson Chandler is a forced to be reckoned with in the paint, Thomas won’t have to deal with him too much. Instead, he’ll probably be matched up on Amare Stoudemire, who has a knack for playing bad defense. Look for a 14 point, 12 rebound night out of Thomas.
3- PREDICTION. Will the Bobcats make it two in a row at MSG and improve to 2-0 on the season against Knicks?
Spencer Percy: I’ve tried my hardest to be as optimistic as possible about this Bobcats team, but there is no chance that they beat the Knicks in MSG again this early in the season. As I said, the Knicks are going to come out with a sense of pride tonight, determined to not allow a repeat of last week.
Brett Hainline: No. Man, I am just a Negative Ned here, aren’t I? I think the Knicks will come out strong after the disappointing effort last week and take care of business at home. I don’t think Boris Diaw makes all of his 3s again and the Bobcats are still short-handed with Corey Maggette and Reggie Williams missing from providing offense.
Bryan Wendland: No. While the Bobcats certainly had their way with New York on their last trip to Broadway, the Knicks are still a better team. Inserting Shumpert into the starting lineup and matching him up with opposing point guards has given new life to the Knicks’ defense, and Stoudemire, who couldn’t a midrange jumper to save his life early on, looks like he’s finally found his groove. For the Bobcats to win, they’re going to have to shoot the ball almost as good as they did in their previous game at New York, and as I mentioned above, I don’t think that’s going to happen.