The Sixers lost their starting shooting guard, Jason Richardson, early in yesterday’s game when he stepped on a photographer and sprained his ankle. Richardson was ruled out for tonight’s game by the end of the game yesterday. Nick Young, who scored 5 points and was -29 yesterday, will most likely get the start in Richardson’s place. The Sixers defense in their first game was polar opposite from their defense yesterday. The Nuggets shot roughly 37% from the field while the Knicks shot roughly 51% from the field. The Sixers are looking to cut that 51% drastically tonight.
Who to Watch: Evan Turner. Turner had a relatively quiet opener with five points and six rebounds. Yesterday Turner registered his first double yesterday pouring in 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Turner has the task of replacing All-Star Andre Iguodala at both ends of the court. The former No. 2 overall pick is in his third year and fans are tired of waiting for him to develop and want productivity from the Naismith Award winner.
The Knicks have started off hot. On Friday, they took down the defending NBA champion Miami Heat 104-84 behind 30 points from Carmelo Anthony. In each of their first two wins, the Knicks have held their opponents to 84 points. Guard J.R. Smith has been extremely productive off the bench for New York. Smith poured in 20 points in yesterday’s double digit win over the Sixers. In addition to averaging 15.5 points per game, Smith is also averaging six rebounds and four assists. Smith has been contributing in more ways than just scoring which has given this Knicks team a new dynamic. The Knicks have drastically improved their 3-point shooting this year as they are hitting nearly 48% from beyond the arc.
Who to Watch: Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks will only go as far as Anthony will take them. So far, Anthony has put the team on his back. He has scored 30 and 27 points respectively in their first two games. In addition to leading the Knicks offensively, Anthony also leads the Knicks in rebounds. With forward Amar’e Stoudemire out for the next six to eight weeks, Carmelo does not have to share the ball as much.
Tipoff is slated for 7 pm at the Wells Fargo Center. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports