Dec 2, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives around Phoenix Suns shooting guard P.J. Tucker (17) during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 106-99. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: New York Knicks(20-8) vs. Phoenix Suns(11-17)

Wanna know how much the NBA has changed? The Knicks are one of the top teams in the NBA and the Phoenix Suns are one of the worst, oh how times have changed.

The Suns are getting set to take on the New York Knickerbockers tonight at the U.S Airways center hoping to snap their 2-game losing streak. The Knicks on the other hand are trying to avoid having back-to-back losses for the second time this season after falling to Steve Nash and the LAKERS on ysterday on Christmas day.

Coming into tonight’s contest the Knicks are the favorite by a 2.5 point margin according to The Knicks will be without former Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire who is still out after his knee surgery earlier this season. Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are all listed as day-to-day for New York. The Suns currently has Michael Beasley listed as day-to-day however it’s been announced that he’s going to play.

Keys to the game: Suns

– Will somebody defend the damn 3-point line?!? The Suns are one of the worst teams in the league when it comes to defending the long ball, and the last time these two teams played early December, the Knicks torched the Suns with 12 3-pointers made.

– Let someone else beat you as in anyone not named Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo Anthony has been red hot the last 7 games averaging nearly 34 points per game on 51% shooting from the field and shooting 43% from downtown. The Suns allowed Anthony to score 34 points the last time these two teams played however it took him 27 shots to get there.

– Get Goran Dragic rolling. Dragic has been in an absolute slump lately, and the Suns has little chance to win this game if Dragic is going to play the way he played when the Suns faced the Clippers.

Keys to the game: Knicks

– Force turnovers. The Suns don’t win a lot of games when they cough up because they are just simply not efficient enough offensively to make-up for the miscues.

– Good to be home? The Knicks own a 12-2 home record, but the Knicks are just 8-6 on the road. The Knicks will need to bring it tonight especially coming off a back end of a back-to-back.

The X-Factor!

– Health and fatigue. A several Knicks player got hurt last night against the Lakers, nothing significant but nonetheless the Knicks are a bit banged up. One of the key player that got injured last night was Carmelo Anthony who hurt his knee after teammate Marcus Camby fell into him. “It’s a little sore right now, banged up, but I’ll be fine for [tonight in Phoenix],” Anthony said. Knicks starting point guard Raymond Felton also hurt his hand last night against L.A but both guys returned to the game. Knicks head coach Mike Woodson may adjust Anthony & Felton’s minutes tonight given the circumstances; perhaps he’ll even give one if not both guys the night off.

Match-up Of The Night!

– The match-up that I’m going to look at tonight will be the battle of the benches! The Suns bench has been terrific this season but the Knicks bench has been pretty damn good in their own right. Both benches has guys who are capable of putting up points, but who which bench will outperform the other?

Tags: NBA New York Knicks Phoenix Suns

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