New York Knicks Host Portland Trail Blazers In a Critical Game at the Garden

By Dominic Alessi
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one word to summarize the New York Knicks‘ season, it would be frustrating. On Tuesday night the Knicks fell to 19-29 on the season after Brandon Knight hit a step-back three pointer with one second left on the clock to win 101-98. The game seemed like a microcosm of their season so far with Carmelo Anthony putting the team on his back and still coming up short. This season, Melo is averaging over 27 points per game and just under nine rebounds per game. It seems that no matter what he does, the Knicks fall short and it has to be taking a toll on him. With the trade deadline coming up on Feb. 20, it’s tough to say what will happen with Melo. If the Knicks honestly think they can pull it off and make the playoffs this season, they need to keep Melo on the squad and get somebody else to take the load off of him. Melo isn’t getting younger, and nobody else on the team has shown consistency in order to alleviate some of the pressure on their leading scorer.

Speaking of recent woes, the Portland Trail Blazers have struggled mightily lately as well. After starting out the season on fire, the Trail Blazers have failed to score more than 90 points for the third time in their last four games and have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games. The kicker here is that four of the five losses were to solid teams; Memphis, Golden State, Houston, and Oklahoma City. Perhaps a trip to New York is just what the doctor ordered for the Trail Blazers. As All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lilliard come to town, they will surely be looking to take advantage of the low morale in the Big Apple. On the road this season, Portland is averaging 108 PPG while New York is giving up 100 PPG and scoring just 98. In previous two matchups between these two teams, Portland won by 11 and 15, each at home. A loss of that margin tonight for the Knicks could severely damage any chances they have of reaching the playoffs and may be the dagger for Melo to make an effort to ask for a trade.

What to expect tonight: As much as the Knicks need it, I don’t see them getting the win tonight. Even if Carmelo scores 40 points, he doesn’t get enough help, especially with Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton seeing career-lows in scoring and playing as if their minds are already focused on the end of the season. The Knicks front office hasn’t done much to help out Carmelo the past few seasons, and it is finally catching up with the team. The Trail Blazers will look to take advantage of the Knicks’ struggles and right their own ship as they will sail off to Minnesota and Indiana after beating the Knicks tonight.

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