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Preview: Lakers vs. New York Knicks

Pro BasketballLos Angeles LakersNew York KnicksPau GasolNick YoungXavier HenryOrlando Magic

The New York Knicks (29-41) are now the Phil Jackson Knicks, recently hiring the Lakers' former coach as team president.

It will take some time for Jackson to remake the New York roster, but the Knicks have won eight of their last 10, although they're coming off a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Knicks visit the Lakers (23-46) Tuesday night at Staples Center, hoping to gain ground on the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks (31-38).

New York still has playoff hopes while the Lakers are better off losing to try to improve their lottery position for the June NBA draft.

Pau Gasol is doubtful after suffering from vertigo Sunday in a win over the Orlando Magic. Steve Nash (nerve-root irritation) is a game-time decision.

While Xavier Henry will play with a torn ligament in his wrist, Kobe Bryant (knee) and Jordan Farmar (groin) are out.

Key matchup

Carmelo Anthony is one of the league's most dominant scorers, averaging 28.1 points a game while shooting 45.3% from the field and 41.1% from behind the arc.

The Lakers will have the difficult task of trying to contain him, with Wesley Johnson likely getting the primary assignment.

L.A. Coach Mike D'Antoni may use a combination of players to try to guard Anthony, including Kent Bazemore, Jodie Meeks, Ryan Kelly, Nick Young and MarShon Brooks.

Offensively, the Lakers will need a strong night from Young off the bench.

Young, who recently returned from a knee injury, has averaged 17.0 points a game this season while shooting 42.2% and 35.8%.

X-factor

Tyson Chandler is still one of the better defensive centers in the league.

The Knicks' recent surge unsurprisingly coincides with Chandler getting healthy, after struggling earlier in the season with leg issues.

Chandler is New York's leading rebounder at 10.2 a game.  He's also scored 9.3 points while blocking 1.2 shots a night.

With Gasol unlikely to play, the Lakers will need offense from both Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill.

Hill is coming off a career night with 28 on Sunday against the Magic. Kaman has been out of the rotation.

Outlook

The Knicks need the win. The Lakers need the loss.

ALSO:

Pau Gasol doubtful Tuesday after suffering from vertigo

Xavier Henry has ruptured wrist ligament that will require surgery

Lakers' Nick Young has about $100,000 in goods stolen from his home

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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