Stars Aligned At Garden

by
Samori Benjamin

Stars will be aligned at Garden showdown tonight.

All eyes will be on Madison Square Garden tonight as the New York Knicks might have their first player named a starter to the all-star game for the first time since Patrick Ewing in 1992.  That will be the backdrop of tonight’s nationally televised broadcast on TNT as the Knicks take on the Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat.  The third member of the Miami Thrice Chris Bosh will not be on hand as he is back in Miami nursing an ankle injury.  TNT’s studio cast of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley will be in the building tonight which will only heighten the drama of the evening.  It’s been years since there has been a buzz at Madison Square Garden this late in the season and a lot of credit has to be given to first year Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudamire who was the Knicks’ prize free agent acquisition this past summer and not Lebron James who spurned the Knicks for South Beach, Miami.  Stoudamire incredibly is the second leading scorer in the NBA this season with an average of 26.1 points per game.  Stoudamire is at the top of any MVP discussion and his teammates are looking forward to the night “it’s very exciting, the three guys Ray, Gallo, and Stat have put together a great season so far so it will be exciting for us.” Says first year Knicks forward Landry Fields who has to be on cloud nine right now as he is in the midst of a renaissance season at the Garden  and knows nothing about the turmoil that took place in Knicks land the previous nine consecutive losing seasons.  

                Knicks point guard Raymond Felton will not be one of the starters for the all-star game but with a scoring average of 17.5 points per game and 8.9 assists, both career highs, Felton, the general of this Knicks team has a shot at being named a reserve to the all-star game a couple weeks from now “we will see what happens, I hear a lot of talk that I have a good chance but we will see what happens over the next week or two.” Says Felton.  Going into tonight’s game against Miami the Knicks have a record of 23-21 which is good enough for the 6th best record in the Eastern conference.  This being a revival season for the Knicks every game against one of the elite teams in the league is always an interesting measuring stick of exactly where the team is at and if they are for real “You want to win against any top echelon team, Miami is a very good team so we have to make sure we are ready to go,  we have to get our rest and be sharp on all cylinders.” Says Amar’e Stoudamire.  Miami teammates Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are expected to be two of the five starters for the Eastern conference all-stars but despite the star power and two previous losses to Miami earlier in the season Felton says the team has played in a number of spotlight games this season and will be unnerved for this one “We’ve already had a lot of T.V. games so far so there is really no pressure about it being a TNT game, we just look forward to having a good game against Miami and hopefully get this win.”  It’s going down tonight at the world’s most famous arena. 

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