New Jersey (2-29) hosts New York (12-19). New York won the last two meetings 98-91 (road) and 106-97 (home). New York is coming off a good road win against the Pistons–who just cannot find a way to score. In the last meeting, New York had to rally from 13 down before pulling away. Hopefully the boys in blue won’t dig themselves such a hole this time.
What to watch for:
The neophyte Chris Douglas-Roberts averages 25 points (Efg% 63.1) against the Knicks this season. Devin Harris put in 19 on 7-16 shooting in the last meeting. The success of the Net back court against the Knicks says a lot about the Knick defensive effort. Sure, the Knick offense has improved greatly in the last month and a half–efficiency up 5 points and EFG% up 3 points from since Nov 9–but to stay in games the defense has to improve.
Lopez is a fairly skilled second year big man with a few moves around the basket and a solid defensive game. So naturally he averages 18 points per against the Knicks. Lopez really is too big for anyone on the Knicks’ front line to shut him down. The best thing the Knicks can do is to attack him and hope he picks up fouls (3.3 per/36).
And now a word from Carnac the Magnificent.
Carnac: The envelope please. (holds to head) Vitamin D, Potassium, and Larry Hughes’ offense. (opens envelope and reads) Name three things you’ll see on a milk carton.
Seriously, how long has it been since Hughes had a solid offensive performance? I know he had the groin pull and perhaps that is still a hinderance, but with D’Antoni playing such a short rotation we really need Hughes playing well. Hopefully he can repeat his performance in the come from behind win against the Nets at MSG, in which he hit 14-17 from the line. With the Nets’ foul prone players, it would be nice to see the Knicks trying to pick up a few fouls.
- Knicks are 2-5 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. Will D’Antoni’s short rotation, combined with the travel result in the Knicks getting out to a slow start or a weak finish?