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New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons: Preview, Analysis and Predictions

Feb 4, 2013; New York, NY, USA;  Detroit Pistons power forward Charlie Villanueva (31) fouls New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire (1) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden.  Knicks won 99-85.  Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sportsss
Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 4, 2013

The New York Knicks (36-21) enter their matchup with the Detroit Pistons (23-39) on Wednesday night coming off both a win and a loss.

On Monday night, the Knicks halted a two-game losing streak with a 102-97 comeback victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but lost Carmelo Anthony to a knee injury of unknown severity (per MSG Network's Tina Cervasio). 

Fortunately for New York, the Pistons don't serve as much of a threat to take advantage of the potential absence of the fallen star—they have lost two straight and seven of their past 10. 

Let's take a look at everything you need to know about this matchup. 

 

When: Wednesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, Mich.

Watch: FS Detroit or MSG

Live Stream: NBA League Pass

 

Knicks Injury Report (via CBS Sports)

PG Baron Davis, Out, Knee

PF Rasheed Wallace, Out, Foot

SF Carmelo Anthony, Questionable, Knee

 

Pistons Injury Report (via CBS Sports) 

C Andre Drummond, Out, Back

 

Key Storyline: Will New York Continue Its Dominance of Detroit Without Carmelo?

So far this season, Detroit has always been kind enough to provide wins for the 'Bockers. 

And it hasn't even been close.

In late November, the Knicks won at home, 121-100. In January, they went to London and cruised, 102-87. Two weeks later, another big win, 99-85. 

Add it all together, and New York is 3-0 this season against Detroit with an average margin of victory of 16.7 points, and Drummond, Detroit's impact young big man off the bench, was available in all of those games.

But 'Melo, whose status is currently unknown for Wednesday, was present for those games and tallied at least 26 points in each contest. 

Nevertheless, New York has solid depth and has shown the ability this season to win with its superstar out of the lineup. 

 

Key Matchup: Amar'e Stoudemire vs. Greg Monroe

If Anthony is forced out of the lineup, look for Stoudemire to step up in his absence. 

The former All-Star may have lost a step or two, but he still has plenty of athleticism and has been steadily productive this season as he continues to move back toward 100 percent.

Moreover, with Anthony logging just 14 minutes against Cleveland on Monday, STAT put in a season-high 32 minutes and responded with 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting, six rebounds and a block. 

On Wednesday, he and Tyson Chandler will line up against Detroit's best player.

Greg Monroe is a talented young big man capable of contributing in several different ways. He's nearly averaging a double-double this season with averages of 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds (16.6 and 11 in February), but he is also a terrific passer (3.3 assists) and solid defender (1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks). 

If Detroit has any chance of pulling off the upset, Monroe needs to have a monster game against New York's frontcourt.

 

Prediction

I originally had the Knicks winning by double digits, but the potential absence of Anthony changes things. 

Still, look for New York to score with ease against the Pistons, who rank 21st in the NBA in defensive rating, but don't expect a blowout.

Jose Calderon, Brandon Knight and Monroe will keep things close for Detroit, especially at home (where the Pistons are a decent 15-18), but the Knicks are good enough to win without Anthony.

New York 102, Detroit 93

 

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