New York Knicks 70th Anniversary

5 Things To Know: Melo Set to Return as Knicks Aim For Strong Road Trip Finish

by Jonah Ballow
NYKnicks.com
@jonahballow

9:00 PM EST | Pepsi Center
TV:  MSG Network
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7 FM

5 Things To Know:

1.  The short-handed Knicks fought until the final buzzer but simply did not have the firepower to match Golden State on Thursday night.  With Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose sidelined, New York was limited to 90 points in the 13-point defeat.  On the other side, the Warriors registered 41 assists on 45 made field goals while Klay Thompson posted 25 points.  The Knicks fell to 14-12 overall but can end the road trip on a positive note with a matchup against the Nuggets on Saturday night.  At 2-2 on the current five-game west coast trek, New York can jump above .500 for the trip.  Currently, the Knicks sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings heading into Saturday’s game in the Mile High City.

2.  Anthony confirmed at Friday’s practice that he would jump back on the court for the game against his former team.   On Thursday, Anthony was forced to miss the contest against the Warriors due to a sore shoulder.

3.  Rose is cautiously optimistic about a return to the floor in the near future.  After suffering from back spasms over the last two games, the Knicks point guard participated in Friday’s practice session in Denver.  Rose will make a decision near tipoff regarding his status for Saturday’s contest.

4.  This past summer, the Nuggets added to their young nucleus by drafting first round picks Jamal Murray and Willy Hernangomez’s brother Juan.  These picks join a group led by Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Wilson Chandler, who returns from a hip injury that sidelined him all of last season.   Mike Malone’s group won 33 games a year ago and are now located in 10th place in the latest Western Conference standings.  At 10-16, the Nuggets are just 4-7 at home and 4-6 in their last 10 outings.

5.  A significant starting lineup change occurred on Thursday night in Denver.  Malone placed Jokic, Chandler (Nuggets leading scorer), and Gary Harris into the five-man group and the result was a 132-120 victory for Denver.  By shooting 51.2 percent from the floor and 48.4 percent behind the arc to knock off the Blazers despite 40 points from Damian Lillard.