Phoenix Suns (4-9, 1-5 away) @ New York Knicks (6-7, 3-3 home)
Tonight, two teams in the midst of a losing streak will do battle at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks will try to prevent their streak from reaching four, while the Suns look to halt their skid at six. This will be the only meeting between the two teams this season, due to the loss of games. Phoenix and New York split the two meetings last year, with each team winning on the other’s home court.
When – January 18th, 2012
Time – 7:30 PM
Where – Madison Square Garden
TV – MSG
Injury Report – New York
Baron Davis (Out) – Back
Injury Report – Phoenix
Offensive Rating – New York 100.1 (23rd) Phoenix – 103.3 (13th)
Defensive Rating – New York 101.5 (12th) Phoenix – 106.6 (26th)
Pace – New York – 93.8 (3rd) Phoenix – 91.1 (18th)
High PER Performer – New York – Carmelo Anthony (25.1) Phoenix – Marcin Gortat (23.8)
Probable Starters – New York
PG – Iman Shumpert
SG – Landry Fields
SF – Carmelo Anthony
PF – Amar’e Stoudemire
C – Tyson Chandler
Probable Starters – Phoenix
PG – Steve Nash
SG – Jared Dudley
SF – Grant Hill
PF – Channing Frye
C – Marcin Gortat
Keep an Eye On
1. The Creative Canadian – Steve Nash just keeps getting it done, and is averaging a double double for the season so far. Nash is the absolute master of the pick and roll, whether he makes a pinpoint pass to the roll man, finds an open teammate, or knocks down a jumper. The Suns average 0.99 PPP (Points Per Possession) when Nash is the ball handler in the pick and roll, according to mySynergySports. Phoenix still relies heavily on Nash’s 37-year-old legs to do the majority of playmaking. His assist percentage is an astouding 58.1%. the Knicks highest player in that category? Carmelo Anthony, at 28.3%.
2. Zone D – I have tuned in briefly to a few of Phoenix’s games, and they will move to a zone defense during particular stretches. I’m sure I don’t need to remind a single soul about how the Knicks responded to Orlando’s zone defense late in Monday’s loss. Stan Van Gundy switched to the zone at the perfect time, and the Knicks will need to be prepared for the potential of Head Coach Alvin Gentry showing the same look.
3. ‘Melo Point Forward – Do what you will with this statistic, but Carmelo Anthony leads the league in PPP when he is the ball handler in the P&R (1.2). However, the Knicks are only utilizing him in that situation 15.5% of the time, compare that to the 31.6% in isolation scenarios.
4. ‘Melo Milestone – ‘Melo is within six points of reaching the 15,000 point plateau.