- The Knicks have won four of five and nine of 11, while the Nets have lost seven of their last nine. The teams have split two games this season in Brooklyn, with the Knicks winning Dec. 11 on a Jason Kidd 3-pointer in the final seconds.
- For the Nets, Jerry Stackhouse (sore right knee) and Josh Childress (sore left foot) are out.
- Carmelo Anthony will play despite a sprained left ankle suffered in last Thursday’s win over the Lakers. He did agility and shooting drills on the court before the game, and then decided he could play. Anthony has missed two straight games and the Knicks went 1-1 during the stretch; they are 2-2 this season without him. He is the NBA’s second-leading scorer (27.9 ppg).
- Steve Novak is out with flu-like symptoms, and Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby are also out (sore left feet). Of Wallace, Woodson said: “His foot is bothering him and it’s kind of day-to-day . We’re rehabbing him and I’m not going to rush him back. He was trying to play and he couldn’t play. We gotta get him where he’s consistently on the floor.”
- The Knicks’ starters will be point guard Raymond Felton, shooting guard Jason Kidd, small forward Ronnie Brewer, Anthony at power forward and center Tyson Chandler.
- Amar’e Stoudemire will practice Thursday with the D-League Erie BayHawks and the Knicks will decide where to go from there. It’s possible Stoudemire could play Friday vs. Chicago or Sunday vs. Minnesota. “It’s going to be entirely up to him and the doctors in terms of how he’s feeling,” Woodson said. “If he says he’s ready, then I trust that and I’ll play him.”
- Asked if a rivalry had developed between the two New York teams, who have split two games in Brooklyn this season, Woodson said: “Again, both teams — you got to win. You got to put yourself in that kind of light. And there’s been some struggles here over the years as well as in New Jersey. I mean it’s good for the league when you got teams like that. Back in the day it was the Lakers and the Celtics. And Chicago and the Pistons. The league has changed a little bit in that regard. But you guys want to call it a rivalry? So be it. I’ll look at it as two good teams this year that are battling it out to figure out who gets to stay at the top of this division and win it. And I’m pulling for the Knicks.”
– Adam Zagoria