Knicks vs. Raptors: Fresh Faces to Watch for in Preseason Clash

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 19, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16:  Raymond Felton #2 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

The New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors are both teams that have each made a substantial amount of changes since the end of the 2011-12 season.

Now, with the two teams facing one another tonight, they'll get another opportunity to see how their newly-acquired talents fit in with their existing pieces and work out some of the kinks before the regular season gets underway.

Here are some of the fresh faces to watch for in tonight's preseason matchup between New York and Toronto.

Raymond Felton

Brought in by the Knicks to help replace the recently-departed Jeremy Lin, Raymond Felton should once again be a key player for New York in 2012-13, once he gets accustomed to the Knicks' offense.

No, Felton isn't the game-breaker that Lin was in 2012, but he's an effective point guard at both ends of the floor, and he should be an impact player during his second stint with the Knicks.

John Lucas III

After a solid performance with the Bulls during the 2011-12 playoffs, John Lucas III was brought in by the Raptors for some depth at guard.

So far, Lucas has been impressive, posting 11.5 points per game for Toronto, and he has been making a case for himself to earn serious minutes during the regular season.

Kyle Lowry

The Toronto Raptors made a big move by acquiring former Houston Rocket Kyle Lowry over the summer, and they hope that the former Villanova guard can bring some much-needed offense to the Raptors' lineup.

Coming off a career year in 2011-12 that saw Lowry post over 14 points per game, the Raptors expect big things from their top offseason acquisition.

Early on, Lowry has been good, posting 14 points in his only preseason appearance, and he should be an even bigger offensive presence as the season wears on.

Chris Copeland

As a 28-year-old, Chris Copeland isn't exactly your average NBA rookie, but the former Colorado star has emerged after moving from league-to-league in Europe, and he has been  making a strong case for himself to earn a regular spot in the Knicks' rotation.

Heading into Friday night's game against the Raptors, Copeland is averaging a surprising 12 points per game in just 17 minutes a night, so he's certainly opened some eyes during the preseason.

In his second preseason performance, Copeland posted 21 points in just 19 minutes against Boston, so if he can continue to put up numbers like that, he'll garner some serious consideration from Knicks management.