The NBA always delivers the big names for Christmas, and this year does not disappoint.
The second game of the day sends the New York Knicks (20-7) to Los Angeles to face the streaking Lakers (13-14). The Knicks got the best of the Lakers in their first match-up earlier this month; winning 116-107.
Fortunately for the Lakers, there might be a different outcome now that they are playing their best basketball of the season, and most importantly, they have Steve Nash and Pau Gasol in this game.
However, no headline is bigger than the match-up of the NBA’s leading scorers: Kobe Bryant (29.7) and Carmelo Anthony (28.3).
Mike D’Antoni has shown that he isn’t afraid to shake up the Lakers’ line-up, and it looks like we won’t know the starting line-up until pregame.
Metta Word Peace has now been coming off the bench, but could very well start in order to be on Carmelo Anthony.
D’Antoni also likes spacing the floor by moving Kobe Bryant to the small forward position, but it is unknown if Darius Morris or Jodie Meeks will be the starting shooting guard.
As previously stated, Carmelo Anthony is the NBA’s second leading scoring at 28.3 PPG. The last time he played the Lakers; Anthony scored 22 points in the first quarter, and finished with 30 points for the game after leaving with an ankle injury in the third quarter. The Lakers must throw everything at Anthony in effort not to allow him to singly handily put them down as he did last game.
Nash had an extremely successful return to the season in a winning effort against the Golden State Warriors by contributing 12 points and nine assists in 40 minutes of play. D’Antoni and others preached that Nash would make the team much more dynamic, and that seems true after only one game. Look for Nash and the Lakers to look better-and-better each game.
PROJECTED STARTING LINE-UPS
New York Knicks
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Jason Kidd
SF: Ronnie Brewer
PF: Carmelo Anthony
C: Tyson Chandler
Los Angeles Lakers
PG: Steve Nash
SG: Darius Morris
SF: Kobe Bryant
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Dwight Howard
The game starts at 12:00pm PST on ABC.