Mar 29, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) readies to drive around Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson (9) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 111-102. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Bobcats Search For 20th Win Against Melo-less Knicks: Game 81 Preview

The New York Knicks locked up the second seed in the Eastern Conference Sunday with their win over the Indiana Pacers. With nothing left to accomplish for the remainder of the season, the Knicks will be treating tonight’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats as a rest day.

Carmelo Anthony, the frontrunner to win the league’s scoring title, is expected to sit out. The Knicks were already shorthanded, without Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Kenyon Martin among others. There are rumors that Rasheed Wallace could make his return to the Knicks rotation tonight, as they hope to get the veteran forward on the court before the start of the postseason.

While the Knicks have nothing to play for, the Bobcats are still searching for any type of improvement they can carry into next season. The Bobcats have lost the last five straight to the Knicks, and lost 111-102 in their trip to Madison Square Garden on March 29. Gerald Henderson, who’s struggled lately, had a career high 35 points against the Knicks that night.

With the Knicks looking to rest their legs, tonight could be the chance for the Bobcats to pick up a win against New York. The Bobcats have lost the last five games to the Knicks by an average of over 13 points.

Bismack Biyombo certainly wouldn’t mind facing the Knicks depleted frontcourt. Biyombo, who had 13 points and 17 rebounds in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday, is averaging double-digit rebounds this month for the first time this season. Josh McRoberts is averaging just under double-digit rebounds in his last 10 games, and came close to a triple-double against the Bucks. The Bobcats frontcourt has been one of the league’s least-productive frontcourts this season, but is starting to gain some confidence as the regular season shuts its doors.

With the Knicks resting their star player and some of their key rotation guys sitting with injuries, tonight could be a good chance for the Bobcats to pick up a win. However, as we’ve seen with the team this season, no win has really ever been a safe bet or guarantee.


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