The Knicks look to extend their eight game winning streak against the Toronto Raptors this afternoon. The Knicks are currently 33-27 and fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Toronto Raptors are walking into the game 25-34, an unimpressive record despite being on a four game winning streak, making them the 12th seed in the East. The Knicks injuries have been better than most times as of late, only having Alec Burks and Mitchell Robinson out for the game along with Taj Gibson as day-to-day with a lacerated eyelid he suffered against the Hawks on Wednesday. The Raptors only have one player listed as out, being Jalen Harris, but three players as day-to-day including Paul Watson, Chris Boucher and Rodney Hood. My signature three keys to win this game are get Julius Randle going, stop Pascal Siakam, and do not choke a lead.
Julius Randle has been on fire as of late, scoring 40 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in an overtime contest against the Atlanta Hawks. Getting Randle going with another thirty point performance would be huge in getting our ninth straight win. Pascal Siakam is currently averaging 21 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and almost five assists per game. Stopping Pascal with players like Julius and the rest of our defense is key, and I wouldn’t mind letting Fred Vanvleet being their main point of offense with the defensive ability of our guards. Lastly, leads. The Knicks will be up ten or more points at halftime and then drop the ball completely, something we can not do against the Raptors. The Raptors are in that odd position of either tank or go for a playoff run, but being in 12th seed most likely means they are tanking. After getting four wins in a row, a Knicks win to stop their run would be beautiful. Tipoff is at 1 PM EST in Madison Square Garden, go knicks, Shaney out.