2 Key Players For Knicks In Raptors Matchup
Tonight, the New York Knicks head north for a matchup against the Toronto Raptors.
They enter the game as underdogs, though they hold a much better record than the Raptors this season.
The two sides last faced off on December 21, with the Raptors coming away with a 113-106 win in Madison Square Garden.
Though the Knicks had a pair of 30-point scorers with Julius Randle and RJ Barrett in that game, the Raptors were boosted by a 52-point performance from Pascal Siakam.
Now, with the Knicks likely without Barrett tonight, here are two players that will be key for the team to get a win.
1. Jalen Brunson
Jalen Brunson has caught fire in the Knicks’ last two games.
In a matchup against the Phoenix Suns on January 2, Brunson scored 24 points.
He then followed this with a 38-point outburst, a career-high, against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
38 PTS (career-high)
Jalen Brunson showed out in the Knicks W. pic.twitter.com/8l1tfia43J
— NBA (@NBA) January 5, 2023
The Knicks will likely look to continue riding the hot hand and look for major contributions from their point guard.
However, also look for Brunson to take more of a facilitator role.
In their previous game against the Raptors, he dropped 12 assists while only scoring seven.
If the team hopes to win tonight, look for Brunson to be a key part of their offensive attack.
2. Mitchell Robinson
Though the Raptors have a number of athletic forwards, they lack a truly dominating presence down low.
Because of this, Knicks center Mitchell Robinson will play a big role in this game.
He will need to grab a bulk of the team’s rebounds, while also drawing in the Raptors defense to open up the Knicks’ outside shooting.
Quentin Grimes ↗️ Mitchell Robinsonpic.twitter.com/ub3wiWD087
— Knicks Nation (@KnicksNationCP) January 2, 2023
On top of this, he will also need to play strong defense under the basket.
This season, Siakam is shooting just 33.6% from beyond the arc, and will look to get his baskets closer to the paint.
Robinson is one of the game’s premier shot blockers, averaging 1.7 a game, and will need to change shots tonight.