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Saturday, December 20, 2014

2012 Game Preview – 76ers @ Knicks

After three straight victories, the Knicks look to continue their winning ways against the Atlantic Division leading Philadelphia 76ers. With the season shortened to 66 games, these division matchups become even more pivotal. The two teams split the regular season series last year 2-2 with the Knicks coming away with the final two meetings.

The Lowdown – The Knicks may have caught a bit of a break in this game. The 76ers are playing their last game in a back-to-back-to-back series. The Knicks will begin a three games in four nights stint. The Knicks have won three in a row, and are giving up only 87.7 points per game during that stretch. In fact the team currently has a defensive rating of 102.0, good enough to place them in the top half of the league (14th). The 76ers are winners of their last six, and with a win over the Knicks they will have their longest win streak since Jan 6-17, 2009.

The Sixers have five guys averaging over double figures points per game in Lou Williams, Jrue Holliday, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Spencer Hawes. They rank 1st in SRS (Simple Rating System) which takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. In the same category, the Knicks rank 23rd. The Sixers also rank 1st in defensive rating and 3rd in offensive rating. They win with their balance and depth on offense, as well as their ferocity on defense.

Key Matchup – Carmelo Anthony vs. Andre Iguodala – In Melo’s career he has averaged 26.4 points per game while shooting 54.7% ts% against Iguodala. Iggy is a strong defender with quick hands and respectable lateral movement. I would love to see Melo play more bully ball and not settle for jumpers. He outweighs Iggy by 23 pounds and a double team should be administered immediately by Doug Collins every time Melo catches it down low. Such a double team should improve Anthony’s ability to find his teammates for easy scores. Melo’s assist percentage this year is 27.5%, which leads the team. I’ve been impressed with his willingness to hit the open man this year instead of forcing shots.

X-Factor – Tyson Chandler. Chandler’s offensive rating is 152 and defensive rating is 99, both team highs. He’s the biggest reason why the Knicks are 14th in defensive rating as a whole. Defending the rim is key, as teams will look to attack the defensive ineptitude of Melo and Stoudemire. The Sixers run the pick and roll often, featuring versatile big men rolling off the pick. Chandler will have to communicate effectively for the Knicks to cover the P & R.

This is an early season statement game, the Knicks have to come out with an overload of fire and desire on both ends of the floor. I had to throw some sort of Clydeism somewhere!

31 comments on “2012 Game Preview – 76ers @ Knicks

  1. D.

    Hahahaha just like the announcer said during the grizz broadcast, he just rear-endered the defender and went right for the jam. Can’t wait for the bully ball man to the same to Iggy tonight.

  2. DRed

    We are probably going to lose this one by a solid margin.

    Great job on the shump shump’s, Mike (or JoMo)

  3. Juany8

    I know Carmelo is a pretty lazy defender, but its ridiculous how much people just blame him for the team’s defensive woes. Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, and Amare Stoudemire play horrific defense where they pretty much always allow their man to do pretty much whatever they want. Literally all you have to do against Toney is drive, since he pressures every point guard far too closely and any good one just blows by him. Amare might be the worst pick and roll big man defender in the league, anyone running a pick and pop involving Stoudemire or Douglas can pretty much get whatever they want against this team. Even when Chandler is involved, he’ll basically have to guard 3 men because Stoudemire will just stand there and watch instead of providing smart help. Carmelo guards small forwards, who are generally their jump shooters or isolation players, and he’s actually really good at man defense when he cares to be. The problem with his help defense, even when he tries, is that he’s just not that fast a player, he’s a really big guy with lots of lower body strength, he’s not a Lebron or even Iguodala type who can just fly all over the court and swat at everything with ridiculous wingspans. This wouldn’t be a huge problem on most teams (Denver was actually pretty good at defense before Chauncey got there), but the team has no coherent team defensive schemes, and no one other than Chandler or Shumpert is capable of being athletic and long enough to contest the offense all over the court.

  4. JK47

    Philly has been very good, but they gotta be due to come back to Earth sometime. They’re demolishing the league right now. They’re a nice young team but they’re not THAT good.

    Still, my hopes aren’t super high for a NYK win tonight.

  5. ruruland

    Juany8: I know Carmelo is a pretty lazy defender, but its ridiculous how much people just blame him for the team’s defensive woes. Toney Douglas, Landry Fields, and Amare Stoudemire play horrific defense where they pretty much always allow their man to do pretty much whatever they want. Literally all you have to do against Toney is drive, since he pressures every point guard far too closely and any good one just blows by him. Amare might be the worst pick and roll big man defender in the league, anyone running a pick and pop involving Stoudemire or Douglas can pretty much get whatever they want against this team. Even when Chandler is involved, he’ll basically have to guard 3 men because Stoudemire will just stand there and watch instead of providing smart help. Carmelo guards small forwards, who are generally their jump shooters or isolation players, and he’s actually really good at man defense when he cares to be. The problem with his help defense, even when he tries, is that he’s just not that fast a player, he’s a really big guy with lots of lower body strength, he’s not a Lebron or even Iguodala type who can just fly all over the court and swat at everything with ridiculous wingspans. This wouldn’t be a huge problem on most teams (Denver was actually pretty good at defense before Chauncey got there), but the team has no coherent team defensive schemes, and no one other than Chandler or Shumpert is capable of being athletic and long enough to contest the offense all over the court.

    It takes a lot out of Melo to chase guys all over the floor…He is essentially a PF, and his lower half is certainly bigger than most PFs.

    Imagine a rather large PF running around like that…. He just has a difficult time getting around screens, which is why he switches so frequently.

    Some of his team defensive issues are related to focus and attention span

  6. art vandelay

    Question is (among several): How badly is Elton Brand going to maul us on the pick-and-pop like last year when he resembled Boris Diaw…err, I mean Michael Jordan, against Amar´e? If he goes for 25 and 10 while matching STAT´s production, can´t see how we win this one.

  7. Steven Carmichael Post author

    JK47:
    Philly has been very good, but they gotta be due to come back to Earth sometime. They’re demolishing the league right now. They’re a nice young team but they’re not THAT good.

    Hard to argue with their numbers. Maybe the Knicks will begin the process of bringing them back down to Earth with a reality check. It will be a fun game to watch for sure.

    Still, my hopes aren’t super high for a NYK win tonight.

  8. Steven Carmichael Post author

    JK47:
    Philly has been very good, but they gotta be due to come back to Earth sometime. They’re demolishing the league right now. They’re a nice young team but they’re not THAT good.

    Still, my hopes aren’t super high for a NYK win tonight.

    My bad on the previous comment, new contributor and working out the kinks of learning everything haha. Hard to argue with the 76ers numbers through 9 games. Maybe the Knicks will begin the process of bringing them back down to Earth with a reality check. It will be a fun game to watch for sure.

  9. nicos

    Tough matchup- My hope is that Chandler can stay out of foul trouble and use his mobility to get Hawes (who’s been playing great) out of the game- if they can do that I think they can have some success on the offensive boards. Hopefully, Melo’s feeling a little better becaise he’s going to need to concentrate on getting back on defense and keeping track of Iggy and Thad Young. Will also be interesting to watch Shump go up against some very active, driving guards who can also shoot from distance and are also likely to attack his dribble on offense. Sixers D is very good so the Knicks are likely going to have to settle for a lot of jumpers- if they can hit them, which they haven’t done all year, they’ll have a chance.

  10. ruruland

    I wouldn’t pay too much attention to point differential right now. Philly has had some luck with guys being out. They are a very good team that has clearly built on what they did last year, but you should get the sense that the Knicks are starting to put things together.

    I expect a 10+ pt win.

  11. Count Zero

    Impossible for me to pick tonight’s outcome. Collins has Philly firing on all cylinders earlier than you would expect, whereas the Knicks have yet to look like a team whose players are all on one page. But the Knicks have more talent IMO.

    I think if the Knicks show more of the defensive cohesiveness they started to show in their last couple and play an average or better game offensively, they hold home court against a tired Philly team. But if they revert to continual switching on the P n’ R with little to no hedging, or allow constant dribble penetration, it could get really ugly.

  12. Z

    As long as SHUMP SHUMP kicks off the thread, I see the Knicks taking this one. Philly’s not for real, and even if they were, the 3rd game in 3 nights (on the road!) is usually circled as a loss. Knicks are starting to do a lot of things right. Should be a good one.

  13. Michael Cline

    IF we can keep it respectable against Brand (which is a big if with our track record), we should be in this game until the very end. Until his last game, Brand’s been struggling. I say this fully realizing that none of it means nothing against Amare’s “defense.”

    Still, Vegas has it at -4 for NY don’t they? Pretty generous. I would think it would be more like -2 NY or even -1 PA.

    In other news, I went to check our “lob city” live last night at the Rose Garden in Portland. PDX is a great place to watch ball! Two observations: (1) Blake Griffin is such a whiner. And (2) Raymond Felton looked really good. 7 assists in the first half. He hit tons of big shots. *tear*

  14. D.

    Blah blah blah i cant believe you guys seriously. Even the eternal optimist seems doubtful on this one. Come on guys how about being objective here. For one this is a great matchup at almost every position except at center where the balance goes in favor of the knicks. Secondly the knicks have had a day off, a full day of practice, and are at home for the good ol NY home cooking and guess what our bench will play better save the corpse of Bibby; while philly is on the 3 rd night of its back to back to back. And if you’d ever heard about that from any pro, they usually say most guys are ready to checkout, go home and everything is done with some sort of speed, meaning u rush through practice, gametape, scouting report and that kinda stuff. Plus philly is hot right now so who saids they dont let off the gas pedal a lil bit. Plus its NY, and MSG and all the distractions that even distract us fans. Philly is good, very good but lets face it elements do affect sports ask Tebow and the Broncos. So i say this will not be a cakewalk but it will be a surprise. And by that i mean we’ll probably be suprised by the win margin of the bockers. See y’all after game since I’m not a game thread poster, feels like I’m too emotional when it’s on to be objective. Happy Shump-Day.

  15. Eternal OptiKnist

    d-mar: Have you thought about changing your name?

    :) Touche, douche. I wish i could do the accent on the “e”..it should really sound like ‘touchay, douchay’. Anyway, i think we are the better team, i just don’t think we’re ready to face a hot team like that with a home crowd that’s so on the fence about how they feel about the team. Further, combining our well-documented switching fetish with a team who’s offense is based on sequential pick/roll….you get the idea. We have talent to win…and if we do i won’t be surprised…that’s as much optiknism i can offer for tonight. And im not changing my name :)

  16. jon abbey

    Z:
    As long as SHUMP SHUMP kicks off the thread, I see the Knicks taking this one.

    this is the key, no exclamation points.

    I do think Philly is somewhat for real, in that their team is pretty young and they have the same eight man rotation as last year, both things that will serve them very well this year. a good test for our boys, who haven’t really played a quality team yet (even the Lakers were missing Bynum).

  17. TDM

    Spencer Hawes is a game time decision for tonight’s game with back problems which is a good thing for the Knicks. He and Brand have been very good at crashing the boards as of late. He only played 10 minutes the other night before getting pulled.

  18. danvt

    D.: good ol NY home cooking

    I think the Knicks would rather be on the road. Less pressure.

    Count Zero: But the Knicks have more talent IMO.

    With the emergence of Shumpert, the Knicks have four players playing well consistently right now. The Sixers have more talent, that is, more NBA rotation ready players.

    We may not be ready but I don’t really fear the Sixers. That’s a good feeling. We actually do have a good chance against what has become a top team in basketball. With Chandler we can just go out and guard man to man. In the old days, Lee got eaten alive by the likes of Bogut and Dalembert.

  19. DRed

    danvt: I think the Knicks would rather be on the road.Less pressure.

    With the emergence of Shumpert, the Knicks have four players playing well consistently right now.The Sixers have more talent, that is, more NBA rotation ready players.

    We may not be ready but I don’t really fear the Sixers.That’s a good feeling.We actually do have a good chance against what has become a top team in basketball.With Chandler we can just go out and guard man to man.In the old days, Lee got eaten alive by the likes of Bogut and Dalembert.

    Carmelo, Shump Shump, Chandler and ? The guy who was 7-25 from the field and got lit up by the guy who ate Boris Diaw last game?

  20. Degree_Absolute

    The Sixers have been a tough out for the Knicks these last few years. Brand always kills us. That said, I am excited to watch these new Knicks continue their commitment on D. Expect DWTDD to make an appearance.

  21. Robert Silverman (@BobSaietta)

    Degree_Absolute:
    The Sixers have been a tough out for the Knicks these last few years.Brand always kills us.That said, I am excited to watch these new Knicks continue their commitment on D.Expect DWTDD to make an appearance.

    Until he starts playing better, he’s officially “DWTCD” – Do what Toney’s Capable of Doing, as the man said himself: http://www.postingandtoasting.com/2012/1/9/2693830/once-i-get-my-rhythm-ill-be-fine-douglas-said-nothing-changes-for-me

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