The New York Knicks (1-0) kick off the first road trip of the season against the Golden State Warriors (1-1).
We are early into the season, so there really isn’t a large enough sample size to warrant an in depth statistical analysis. However, even the small sample size of one game for New York and two games for Golden State yields a few interesting items.
In New York’s only game, the team proved to be very efficient on offense. According to Basketballreference.com, New York’s 113.1 offensive efficiency rating is good for 5th in the NBA. New York’s eFG%–in one game–stands at an impressive 53.4. Golden State has not enjoyed similar success on offense with an offensive efficiency rating of 100.9 (17th) and they have failed to reach an eFG% of 50 in the first two games. Golden State has struggled on the other side of the ball as well with a defensive rating of 106.9 (22nd). Generally, the team that can score points with the greatest efficiency is most likely to win the game. So New York’s efficient offense should give them the advantage over Golden States inefficient defense.
What to watch for (1): Tyson Chandler on the glass
In Chandler’s first game as a Knick, he amassed twice as many blocks (6) as rebounds (3) in 37 minutes. I noticed that he tipped out at 3 to 4 more and in doing so helped the team gain a possession. It would be nice to see Chandler have a big rebounding night, especially against a Golden State team that is 26th in the NBA in rebounding. Outside of his defensive ability, rebounding is Chandler’s best asset. Hopefully a strong showing on the glass will help counter one of David Lee’s strengths (9.9 rebounds per 36).
What to watch for (2): New York’s backcourt
It is no secret that New York is thin in the backcourt. Iman Shumpert is out with a knee injury; Mike Bibby’s back may limit his time if he plays at all. Toney Douglas provided offense (19 points) but showed no ability to slow down Rajon Rondo (who is still blowing past Douglas as I type). Landry Fields needs to recapture that efficiency and knack for being in the right place that endeared him to fans in the first half of last season. New York will catch a break in that Stephen Curry probably won’t play due to an ankle injury. Outside of Monta Ellis, the Golden State backcourt lacks experience and depth.