NEW ORLEANS -- The Knicks are looking to beat a team with a winning record for only the second time this season here against the 13-5 New Orleans Hornets. Their only other win over a plus-.500 team was Nov. 4 at Chicago.
They're chances improved with the news that the Hornets' leading scorer, David West (18.8 points per game, 6.6 rebounds, 52.6% FG) is out with a stomach ailment.
Of course the Hornets still have Chris Paul. The point guard matchup tonight between Paul and Raymond Felton, especially with all the rumors and innuendo, should be interesting. Felton might have something to prove tonight.
The Knicks, meanwhile, will be without Ronny Turiaf for a third straight game (and sixth overall) because of the balky left knee. Mike D'Antoni plans to stick with using Amar'e Stoudemire at center and Wilson Chandler at power forward.
Eddy Curry's status remains inactive, despite the fact that he said tonight he is "absolutely" ready to play, but that it's up to D'Antoni to play him.
"I feel good, I feel like I'm ready," Curry told me. "It's ultimately not my decision, but I feel I'm ready."
"I just don't think he's ready yet to go up and down continuously," he said. "He has to go up and down continuously. He shows spurts of looking good in practice . . . We can't experiment right now."
Something to watch on the MSG Network broadcast tonight will be renown New Orleans artist Randy Leo Frechette, known around here as "Frenchy". He was featured on the broadcast last year and tonight he'll do a portrait of Amar'e Stoudemire in real time, during the game. Check out Tina Cervasio's story on Frenchy from last year here at MSG.com.