Knicks vie to stay unbeaten, host Mavs
(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks will try to remain the NBA's only undefeated team Friday when the Dallas Mavericks invade Madison Square Garden.
When the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks both lost on Wednesday, that left the Knicks as the only team without a blemish on their record.
At this moment, the Knicks look like a team without many flaws. They average 104.6 ppg, third-best in the league, and hold the opposition to 85.3 ppg, which leads the NBA. Their 19.4 point differential ranks first.
Basically, the Knicks have been dominant and their opponents haven't been lepers. They handled the defending champion Miami Heat and swept a home-and- home against the Philadelphia 76ers.
"We've run into a team the last couple games who probably is playing as well as anybody in the NBA," Sixers coach Doug Collins said of the Knicks. "They right now do not have a weakness."
Carmelo Anthony is playing spectacular basketball. He averages 26.0 ppg. and leads the team in rebounding at 7.3 per contest. J.R. Smith is doing his part off the bench with 16 ppg. and the Knicks may even get some help on Friday.
Marcus Camby is expected to return to the lineup after he missed the first three games with a strained left calf. He practiced Wednesday and head coach Mike Woodson will make the call on Camby's availability.
"Of course I want to play. I wanted to play in the Miami game," said Camby. "I don't make those decisions. The guys have been out there playing exceptionally well."
The Mavericks ride a three-game winning streak into the Garden. They swept a mini homestand and the key was offseason acquisition, O.J. Mayo.
The shooting guard averaged 28 ppg. over the three contests, while Chris Kaman averaged 18 ppg. during the homestand and was inserted into the starting lineup Wednesday night in a 109-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
The Mavericks are trying to find a consistent group to go with, but missed games are piling up. Dirk Nowitzki is out indefinitely with a knee issue and Shawn Marion will be out Friday with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Even Elton Brand missed the Raptors game to be with his wife for the birth of their child. He is expected to be back against the Knicks, hopefully.
"Without him we aren't a very physical team," head coach Rick Carlisle said of Brand. "That is my concern and hopefully we will get him back for Friday."
Dallas has won 18 of the last 21 meetings with the Knicks and five of the last six in New York.
11/09 10:57:15 ET