With apologies to Rakim, the greatest MC of his era…
It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you
Without previews to step to
Think of how many games you shlept through
Time’s up, I’m sorry I kept you
Waiting on this, analytical blitz
The previews from the game thread soloist
As you sit by the CPU, hand on the keyboard
Click on the link, this is your reward
Read with the brother that is in the know,
I got the stats, so here they go
It’s a 4 factor world, ya heard? They control
when you got stats, you know you got soul.
Enough of that. I’m just so happy to be back.
New York (21-25) hosts Los Angeles (37-9) tonight. New York dropped a tough one in Los Angeles 116-114 on December 16, 2008.
Injury report: Andrew Bynum (knee) out 8-12 weeks with a tear to his MCL. Second long term knee injury to Bynum in as many years. Tough break for Bynum but good news for New York. But don’t fret L.A. fans, New York lost Jerome James (knee, ankle, diet take your pick) for the season and New York found ways to adjust.
|New York Knicks-Offense||97.2||106.9||50.1||15.5||24||21|
|Los Angeles Lakers-Defense||94.4||105||49.2||16.3||27||20.6|
|New York Knicks-Defense||97.2||108.9||51.2||14.9||27.3||20.5|
|Los Angeles Lakers-Offense||94.4||114.2||52||14.5||29.7||25|
What to watch for: Attack L.A.’s defense. L.A. is pretty fair team on defense ranking 6th in defensive efficiency (105), 10th in defensive eFG% (49.2), and 10th in defensive turnovers (16.3). However, L.A.’s interior defense will be somewhat diminished with Bynum’s 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes unavailable. Gasol is not a very strong interior defender so the Knicks should look to exploit this with the Lee/Duhon two man game. Fisher is a strong defender but he will have trouble keeping up with either Robinson or Duhon. New York needs to stay on the attack.
What to watch for 2: Gasol. New York would do well to attack Gasol early. Gasol picks up about 2 fouls per 36 minutes, so he is either a very smart defensive center or a center who sees a player coming and says “Ole”. Given that Gasol blocks fewer than 1 block per 36 minutes (0.9), I’m going to say the Spaniard plays as they say in Spain, “la defensa del matador.” New York really does not have a defensive player talented enough to stop Gasol, so getting him into foul trouble is a good approach.
What to watch for 3: Kobe Bryant. This is just my opinion, but I say Kobe Bryant is the best all around player in the NBA. He can score at will and even on the rare night that his shots are not falling , he knows how to share the ball. L.A. likes to let Kobe dictate on offense (USG-r 29.7) and make good decisions. I think New York could distrupt that by showing Kobe different looks on defense. I think you’ll see D’antoni throw Q, Wilson Chandler, and JJ at Kobe in an effort to keep him off balance-good luck.
Inquiring minds want to know: Whether New York’s second unit led by Robinson and Chandler can keep pushing the pace set by the first team. For L.A., its whether Odom can step in and fill the rebounding and shot blocking void left by Bynum.