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NBA PLAYOFFS | EASTERN CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE

NEW YORK vs. TORONTO

April 21, 2001|MARK HEISLER

SCHEDULE

Sunday at New York, 9:30 a.m.

Thursday at New York, 5 p.m.

April 29 at Toronto, 9:30 a.m.

May 2 at Toronto, TBD*

May 4 at New York, TBD*

* if necessary; TBD--to be determined.

THE BREAKDOWN

* Team records (seeds): (4) New York 48-34, (5) Toronto 47-35.

* Season series: Raptors 3-1; Nov. 25--Toronto 79, at New York 75; Dec. 14--at Toronto 70, New York 68; March 4--at Toronto 98, New York 88; March 15--at New York 88, Toronto 72.

* Head coaches: Jeff Van Gundy (sixth season), Lenny Wilkens (first season).

* Scouting report: Having staged two remarkable/miraculous playoff runs, the Knicks just have to do it again now or face the wrath of management, fans, etc. A year ago, they swamped the inexperienced Raptors, 3-0, after Toronto coach Butch Carter obligingly blew, threatening to sue Marcus Camby for a garden-variety insult and creating a massive distraction. Carter has been replaced by unflappable Lenny Wilkens. The Raptors are bigger and hotter, having finished 11-3. The Knicks are smaller and colder, having finished 7-8. Marcus Camby has a sore hip, Larry Johnson a sore back and upcoming free-agent Allan Houston, who averaged 19.8 points through March 1, dropped to 16 after that.

* Prediction: Raptors, 3-2. Knicks are now busy arguing among themselves about religion.

PROBABLE KNICK STARTERS

F Latrell Sprewell 17.7 pts, 4.5 reb

F Kurt Thomas 10.4 pts, 6.7 reb

C Marcus Camby 12.0 pts, 11.5 reb

G Allan Houston 18.7 pts

G Mark Jackson 7.6 pts, 8.0 ast

KEY RESERVES

F Glen Rice 12.0 pts, 4.1 reb

F Larry Johnson 9.9 pts, 5.6 reb

G Charlie Ward 7.1 pts, 4.5 ast

C Othella Harrington 9.0 pts, 5.2 reb

PROBABLE RAPTOR STARTERS

F Vince Carter 27.6 pts, 5.5 reb, 3.9 ast

F Charles Oakley 9.6 pts, 9.5 reb

C Antonio Davis 13.7 pts, 10.1 reb

G Morris Peterson 9.3 pts, 3.2 reb

G Alvin Williams 9.8 pts, 5.0 ast

KEY RESERVES

F Jerome Williams 6.3 pts, 6.5 reb

F Keon Clark 7.9 pts, 5.4 reb

G Chris Childs 4.7 pts, 4.6 ast

*--*

THE MATCHUPS NY TOR Avg. points 88.7 (28) 97.6 (5) Avg. points allowed 86.1 (1) 95.4 (12) Avg. rebounds 40.2 (25) 44.5 (6) Opp. avg. rebounds 40.1 (3) 41.9 (11) Field goal % .444 (13) .437 (19) Opp. field goal % .417 (1) .447 (20) Free throw % .796 (1) .747 (17) Three point % .351 (14) .369 (6)

*--*

Research by Roy Jurgens

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