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Warriors vs. Knicks: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

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Warriors vs. Knicks: Preview, Analysis and Predictions
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In a battle between two inter-conference powers that are heading in the wrong direction, the Golden State Warriors will travel to play the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

The Warriors are currently 33-24 and in the midst of a stretch in which they've lost seven of 10. Fortunately, they've won three of their past four.

Golden State is 15-17 on the road and 15-6 against the Eastern Conference.

As for the Knicks, they are 33-20. They've lost five of seven and have now lost their sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference playoff structure.

New York is 20-8 at home and 12-8 against the West.

 

Time: Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 8:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Records: Golden State Warriors (33-24) at New York Knicks (33-20)

Betting Line: New York Knicks (-6.5)

Injuries: Andrew Bogut, Out (Back); Marcus Camby, Out (Foot); Rasheed Wallace, Out (Foot)

 

Key Storyline: Recovery

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have lost seven of their past 10 games. The New York Knicks are 2-5 during their past seven games.

One of these teams will get a much-needed victory in this one.

The Warriors have been the hotter team, as they've won three of four. With that being said, the Knicks' most recent game ended in a 99-93 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

This is a battle of two sharpshooting powers. The question is, which team can shoot their way to victory?

Whichever team manages such a feat will set the pace for the final stretch of their season.

 

Key Matchup: Stephen Curry vs. Raymond Felton

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one thing that we've learned about Raymond Felton, it's that he loves to get into one-on-one battles within the course of a game. Although his abilities enable him to succeed in some instances, the approach can be destructive.

Matched up against Stephen Curry, one can only hope that Felton can hold himself back.

Felton is shooting 34.8 percent from beyond the arc for the season. Although respectable, it pales in comparison to Curry's mark of 43.9 percent.

If Felton finds others to counter Curry, the Knicks will be in a position to win. If he takes the shot, however, it will be an uphill battle.

With that being said, Curry isn't in the clear.

Felton is as capable as any at running the pick-and-roll. It is on Curry to blitz the play with his help defender and close off the passing lanes for Felton to slice the Warriors' defense.

If he's unable to, the Warriors will be in just as difficult a bind—especially with this game being played at Madison Square Garden.

 

X-Factor: Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Rookie small forward Harrison Barnes has become a local fan favorite with his play this season. From his jaw-dropping dunks to his unquestioned effort, the former UNC Tar Heel has proven his upside during his first season.

Next up, Barnes is tasked with something new—slowing down a superstar scorer.

There is a chance that the Warriors task David Lee with this job, as Anthony tends to work from the post. With that being said, basketball wisdom tells us that we'll see Barnes on Anthony more than a few times.

So how will he fare?

Barnes doesn't need to shut down Anthony, as few players have ever been able to. What is necessary, however, is for Barnes to slow him down.

If Barnes can handle this monumental task, the Warriors could very well win this game. 

 

Prediction

Who will win?

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The Golden State Warriors are a team that is 15-6 against the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, they're also 15-17 on the road.

Traveling to play the New York Knicks, who are 20-8 at home and desperate for a win, that will lead to defeat.

The Warriors will give New York fits, as their high-low offense will be tough to defend. With that being said, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire have far too much to prove as a tandem to lose this game.

Both will continue their recent scoring surges and carry the Knicks to victory.

As for players such as David Lee, he will have a tough time working it inside with Tyson Chandler manning the paint. While he'll continue registering double-doubles, this should be a game he walks away from with a few bruises.

New York wins a tough one in what could be Kenyon Martin's season debut.

New York Knicks 103, Golden State Warriors 96

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