The Knicks are 2-1 against the Raptors this season, including a 106-87 win on March 20, and New York will once again be looking to assert dominance over a less-talented club.
With Andrea Bargnani struggling for Toronto and the Knicks appearing to be gelling at the right time, let's take a look at how these two teams match up.
Where: Air Canada Centre—Toronto, ON
When: Friday, March 23, 7:00 p.m. ET
Watch: MSG (New York), SNet1 (Toronto)
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Listen: 1050 AM (New York), 590 (Toronto)
Betting Line: Not available, according to Bovada.lv as of 10:55 a.m. ET on March 22.
Key Injuries: Bill Walker (elbow), Jared Jeffries (knee)
What They're Saying
The Knicks came away with a really impressive victory by beating the Sixers in Philadelphia on Wednesday in a game that many viewed as a true test for the improving New York team.
With the record now a sterling 5-0 under Mike Woodson and Jeremy Lin very clearly not relinquishing his starting gig anytime soon, there hasn't been a lot of talk about Amar'e Stoudemire.
However, Stoudemire made some waves on Wednesday with an emphatic performance of 21 points and nine rebounds, and fans finally saw some of the old explosiveness he's been lacking all season.
Woodson was concerned that he might suffer his first loss as head coach of the Knicks against the Sixers on Friday before ultimately coming away with the victory (via Dan Gelston, AP).
“I was sweating a little bit tonight,” interim coach Mike Woodson said. “But I learned that my team is not going to buckle, and I honestly believe that they believe they can win any game that they play now.”
Most Important Player to Watch: Carmelo Anthony
Anthony has been a happy camper with the Knicks winning five straight games, but he hasn't topped 17 points at any point during that span.
He is struggling with his shot and has only hit 10 of his last 30 attempts from the field, and if the Knicks are to sustain success, Anthony will have to be a whole lot better moving forward.
It will be very intriguing to see if Anthony can get back on track against the Raptors, a team against which he had 17 points and eight rebounds earlier this week.
Key Matchup: Jose Calderon vs. Jeremy Lin
When the Linsanity craze was first getting off the ground, Lin was torched by Jose Calderon for 25 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, but it was Lin who got the last laugh by draining the game-winner.
In the rematch earlier this week, Calderon managed just 11 points and nine assists, but he's still working his way back from an ankle injury that had him sidelined for five games.
If Calderon can cause Lin problems at both ends of the floor, the Knicks may struggle to win its sixth straight game against the Raptors.
Knicks 97, Raptors 84
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