The New York Knicks and Orlando Magic have similar records, but
the mood is quite different for both clubs.
There’s a chance Raymond Felton could return Monday night for
the visiting Knicks when they try to defeat the Magic for the
eighth straight meeting.
New York (8-18) continued its dismal season Saturday with a
95-87 home loss to Memphis. Embattled coach Mike Woodson’s bigger
lineup that featured Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Andrea
Bargnani didn’t pay dividends as the Knicks were dominated on the
“You look at the rebounding, it was 55-29,” Woodson said. “I
mean that’s embarrassing, especially when you start a big lineup.
Tyson, Bargnani, ‘Melo, they’re got to rebound the ball better, and
we’ve got to do it as a unit better.”
Anthony scored 30 to reach that figure for the eighth time this
season, but New York fell to 2-6 in those games as it was unable to
overcome a 60-28 deficit in points in the paint.
”It’s a sense of inconsistency right now,” Anthony said. ”We
have spurts where we’re playing great basketball and then we just
have spurts where we’re just dead out there. So we’ve got to get
better at that.”
Orlando (8-19) has lost four straight at home, and has opened
this six-game stretch at the Amway Center with defeats to fellow
last-place clubs Utah and Sacramento.
Coach Jacque Vaughn still has been happy with the leadership
from veterans Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson as his club has dropped
10 of 12.
“First off, that’s a direct reflection of the character of those
men and what they’re all about,” said Vaughn, who gave those
players the day off from Sunday’s practice. “Then I think it’s an
overall message that we continue to talk about, and it’s about life
not being fair and it’s hard. Life is hard. Being able to deal with
adversity and being able to come through it shows character.”
The Knicks are looking for leadership on the floor after Beno
Udrih had four points and six assists against the Grizzlies.
Udrih made his second straight start at point guard in place of
Felton, who has missed the last six games with a strained left
hamstring. Felton is listed as questionable for Monday’s game.
With Felton missing and Udrih faring poorly, Woodson used J.R.
Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. at the point Saturday.
“I expect those guys when they are handling the basketball to
make plays and get us in our offense and we struggled in that
area,” Woodson said.
New York should be confident Monday because it hasn’t lost to
Orlando since a 102-93 defeat Jan. 16, 2012. The Knicks cruised to
a 121-83 home win over the Magic on Dec. 6 as seven players scored
in double figures.
Arron Afflalo is averaging 24.7 points in his last three games
for Orlando, which didn’t have an injured Nik Vucevic available in
the first meeting.
The 7-foot Vucevic is averaging 11.4 rebounds to rank fifth in
the NBA. The Magic were outrebounded 45-31 without him in New
The Magic are 0-13 when allowing 100 or more points.