Here's my Q and A with Sbnation Knicks blogger Seth Rosenthal, who was kind enough to answer some questions for me in advance of Sundays game in New York.
Q: "What player, besides Dirk, should the Knicks be most worried about?"
A: "Well, it sounds like they'll still be pretty short-handed, so I think it's going to come down to shooting again for the Knicks. Jeremy Lin has been killing teams with his penetration, but we've seen in the last few games (and in stretches throughout his tenure) that it's tough for him to create when guys aren't hitting open shots to space the floor. With Melo still out and J.R. Smith unlikely to take the floor, guys like Bill Walker, Steve Novak, and Landry Fields will be called upon to hit open threes so that the Mavs can't zero in on Lin too much.."
A: "Based on the way Walker struggled last night with a bigger small forward who can hit an open three (Ariza), I'd imagine that Shawn Marion poses quite a threat to the Knicks. Really, though, Dirk's the guy. I imagine Jared Jeffries will take a lot of possessions against him, but Nowitzki should see nothing but open shots as long as Amar'e Stoudemire's defending him."
Q: "If the Knicks win the ____ matchup, they'll win. Otherwise...."
A: "Position-wise, I'd say point guard. If Lin outplays Kidd (including in the turnover department), that'll probably mean he played well, and the Knicks have gone as he's gone for the last two weeks. Category-wise, I think I'd refer to the three-point shooting again. It kinda seems like the only way the Knicks can compete in this one unless the Mavs are really off."
Q: "And just for fun, since every person ever is probably going to ask or has already asked: With Amar'e, Carmelo, Lin and J.R. Smith, is there going to be enough rock to go around? IS THERE ENOUGH ROCK IN THE WORLD?"
A:"Ha, oh yes. Honestly the Knicks need more guys who want the ball and can knock down open looks, especially in the second unit. I'd happily see some of the shots being pulled by Walker, Iman Shumpert, Jared Jeffries, and others diverted to a more talented scorer like Smith. It's reasonable to worry about ball movement with guys like that on the floor, but if lineups are arranged and balanced correctly, it shouldn't be a problem. At least I hope not."