W2W4: Knicks at Pistons
March, 6, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
On Monday, the Knicks showed they can handle themselves just fine without Carmelo Anthony.
Will they be able to say the same after Wednesday's game?
Anthony might miss the game against the Pistons due to a right knee injury. He's listed as questionable.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Auburn Hills, Mich. Here are a few things to keep an eye on during the game:
AMAR'E ROLE: If Anthony can't play, it will be interesting to see how Mike Woodson handles his starting lineup.
Anthony left Monday's game with about six minutes to go in the second quarter. Woodson inserted Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith into the lineup to start the third quarter, and the Knicks ultimately rebounded from a 22-point deficit against the Cavs.
Woodson has been hesitant to include Stoudemire or Smith in the starting five while Anthony's healthy. But if Melo's out, the coach needs to find a way to replace Anthony's scoring.
Stoudemire has thrived off the bench this season. His numbers per 36 minutes are impressive: 21.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. On Monday, he scored 22 points.
So if Melo's out, does Woody ask STAT to start?
Another issue: Woodson has shied away from using Stoudemire late in the fourth quarter of close games. He left Amar'e on the bench in the closing minutes of the Knicks' loss to Miami on Sunday, but later admitted that he made a mistake in doing so.
Does that mean Stoudemire will be on the floor Wednesday night in crunch time? Most likely.
DOMINATION VS. DETROIT: New York won the first three meetings with the Pistons by an average of 16.7 points and is looking for its second straight season sweep of Detroit.
The Pistons have lost five of six and are struggling without injured center Andre Drummond (tailbone). He has missed 12 games and the Pistons have given up 102.5 points per game without him. They were allowing 96.7 points per game before Drummond went down.
GOOD MORNING, KIDD: If the past two games are any indication, it looks like Jason Kidd's shooting slump is over.
Kidd is averaging 13 points on 57 percent shooting over the past two games. He's also averaging eight rebounds, 3.5 assists and three steals.
In the 10 games prior, Kidd averaged just 2.6 points on 19.1 percent shooting.
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