The Golden State Warriors have lost six of their last seven games on the road, and things will not get any easier when they take on the New York Knicks Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Warriors could also find themselves extremely short-handed, as leading scorers Stephen Curry and David Lee may be suspended for their roles in a fourth quarter skirmish in their 108-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
Golden State was trailing by 10 when Lee and Roy Hibbert began shoving each other under the basket. Curry raced over to defend his teammate, but was twice swatted aside like a fly by the much larger Hibbert. The fight then spilled into the crowd, where Curry was again knocked to his backside, this time by David West. Once the dust had settled, Hibbert was ejected and Lee, Curry, West and Klay Thompson all received technical fouls.
Not having Curry or Lee would obviously be a huge problem for the Warriors, who recently just lost Andrew Bogut to yet another injury. Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry are more than capable backups, but replacing 40.3 points per game is no easy task. Thompson would be asked to take on a much larger scoring role, and while he has the ability to do it, he has struggled at times with more responsibility this season.
The Knicks certainly would not complain if the two Warriors stars are out of the lineup, as they have struggled mightily against Golden State in recent years. New York has lost six of the last nine meetings at Madison Square Garden, including the last two. Lee, a former Knick, scored 28 points in a Warriors victory at MSG in 2010. And in the one matchup last season, the Knicks fell in Golden State, 92-78. Carmelo Anthony scored just 13 points in the ugly loss.
Anthony himself was involved in an altercation in New York's last game on Sunday, getting called for a flagrant foul for smacking Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes upside the head. However, Anthony will not face a suspension for his actions. He is battling a stomach virus, although he's expected to give it a go. Pablo Prigioni is a gametime decision with back spasms.
While the Knicks did beat the Sixers, they have been in a bit of a funk of late. Before Sunday's victory, New York had lost four straight games, and head coach Mike Woodson even called out Anthony after their loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday. The Knicks are just 12-11 since the calendar turned to 2013, and have lost their grip on the second spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to the Pacers' recent surge.
As Joe Flynn over at Posting and Toasting notes, a Warriors team with Curry and Lee poses some problems for an inconsistent Knicks defense. Golden State likes to push the pace and is second in the NBA in three-point percentage, which is a mix the Houston Rockets used to destroy the Knicks earlier this season at The Garden.
But if there are suspensions handed down, one would think New York would have little trouble with a Golden State team that has been struggling on the road.
Time and location: 8 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden
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