1- Melo got 32 on 31 possessions used in the first matchup with Charlotte and then was held to 22 points on 29 possessions in the 2nd. Do Henderson, Thomas, and Brown continue to slow Carmelo Anthony or does he get on track tonight?
Spencer Percy: If Melo sticks to his new game plan of taking less shots and setting more up for his teammates then the Bobcats may be better off keying in on Amare and Chandler, but for some reason I get a feeling that Melo is still going to use around 30 possessions and likely come out of his slump starting tonight.
Bryan Wendland: Like the rest of his team, Melo hasn’t played well lately. If ever there were a game for him to get back on track it would be against the Bobcats and their horrible defense. Melo does Melo tonight.
Mathew Lewis: No. Melo has been rather inefficient lately, shooting just 33% on 105 attempts over his last four games. I say that continues tonight. Another thing to keep an eye on is if he is affected by the comments he made after the loss Saturday, as he admitted that possibly he’s shooting too much and that Amare should see more touches.
2- Kemba Walker gets his first start as the unquestioned point guard for the Bobcats – how does he respond?
Spencer Percy: Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be a struggle. He’ll be matched up against the best rookie defender in the NBA this season, Iman Shumpert, who will make life tough, and Kemba will also have to adapt to creating for teammates as the true PG on the floor.
Bryan Wendland: The Knicks are far improved on defense this year, but not so much that they’ll be able to keep a guy like Walker out of the paint all night. Iman Shumpert is a defensive pest at point for the Knicks, so Walker will have to play smart to get things done. Still, I think he plays well tonight, and puts up 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
Mathew Lewis: Rather well, I believe. NY’s weakest position on the floor is PG, and although they have improved this season defensively I expect Kemba to get into the lane early and often. His success will ultimately be determined by what he does with the ball when he gets there.
3- Somebody ends their losing streak, with the Knicks at 6 straight L’s and the Bobcats at 4. Who gets the W and who is the star of the game?
Spencer Percy: Knicks. Amare goes off on the Bobcats thin front line for 30 PTS & 15 REB. With Augustin now out, the Bobcats offensive struggles will only get worse. Reggie Williams and Corey Maggette can’t get healthy quick enough.
Call me biased, but the ‘Bockers really, really, really, really, really need to back into the W column. Melo and Amare Stoudemire went so far as to have a head to head meeting to figure out what’s going wrong, it’s boo-bird mating season at The Garden and D’Antoni’s backside is melting as we speak. Melo puts da team on his back Greg-Jennings-style and the Knicks win.
Mathew Lewis: Bobcats. The Knicks are not a particularly big team so they are a relatively good matchup for Charlotte. Given the funk New York currently finds itself in, I think home court (and a presumably enthusiastic crowd) enables the Bobcats to earn their 4th win of the season.