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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Knicks’ Week in Advance 12/15/08

Our heroes are 2-1 on the current five game road trip, none too shabby so far. Things get tougher as the road trip wraps up with the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Lakers. The rest of the week brings the Knicks home for their third game with Milwaukee (0-2), then another trip to Boston (0-1).

Monday, December 15 @ Phoenix [First meeting of the teams this year.]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98.4 106.2 50.4 15.7 23.6 19.6
Rank
1
19
12
17
27
29
Phoenix Suns-Defense 92.4 110 49.5 13.8 28.2 22.5
Rank
12
26
15
29
20
10
New York Knicks-Defense 98.4 108 50.9 14.6 27.5 18.4
Rank
1
20
23
26
18
2
Phoenix Suns-Offense 92.4 110.1 54.6 17.7 24.6 25.6
Rank
12
5
1
30
26
8

This one could be an interesting game for several reasons, almost all of which have to do with Coach D’Antoni. D’Antoni’s Knicks bring the up tempo style of play back to the place where it first gained notoriety. It will be interesting to see how the fans react to D’Antoni and whether the Suns try to show the Knicks that they can still push the pace even though the possessions per game have fallen off a bit (92.4 per game, 12th).

What to watch for: Duhon vs. Nash. As Duhon is running the system that made Nash a 2 time MVP, it’s understandable for people to compare Duhon to Nash. Nash trails Duhon in both assist rating (38.6 to 34.5) and turnover rating of (15.2 to 12.5). However, Nash far outshines Duhon as a scorer (56.3 eFG%, 42 3P% for Nash compared to 49 eFG%, 37.4 3P% for Duhon). Duhon will need to keep the pressure on Nash and make him work on defense. On offense, Duhon will need to stay in front of Nash and keep him out of the lane where he is great at drawing interior defenders away from their defensive assignments.

What to watch for 2: Shaq and Stoudamire v. The Knicks’ front court. The Knicks have struggled containing players who can score inside so I expect Shaq and Stoudamire will give them huge problems. Shaq’s eFG% of 60.3 leads the team and Stoudamire’s 56.2 is fourth. Shaq never did get the hang of defending the pick and roll, and his diminished speed won’t makes things any better. The Knicks should go to the well early and often.

What to watch for 3: Defense. The Suns are very efficient from the floor (54.1 eFG%, 1st). The Knicks need a strong defensive effort to disrupt the Suns’ offense.

Tuesday, December 16 @ Los Angeles [First meeting of the teams this year.]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98.4 106.2 50.4 15.7 23.6 19.6
Rank
1
19
12
17
27
29
Los Angeles Lakers-Defense 96.2 101.7 47.9 17 26.8 19.6
Rank
3
3
7
7
16
5
New York Knicks-Defense 98.4 108 50.9 14.6 27.5 18.4
Rank
1
20
23
26
18
2
Los Angeles Lakers-Offense 96.2 112.7 51.5 15.1 30.4 25.4
Rank
3
3
4
10
5
9

Tuesdays get no better for the Knicks as they face the Lakers. The Knicks are 0-5 on Tuesday so far this season, but how great would it be to break that streak here?

What to watch for: The Lakers are very efficient on offense (112.7, 3rd) and from the floor (51.5 eFG%, 4th), which is problematic as the Knicks struggle against efficient offensive teams. The Knicks need a strong defensive effort, which must involve keeping the ball from getting to Bynum (55 eFG%) and Gasol (56.3 eFG%).

What to watch for 2: The Lakers’ interior defense. Bynum and Odom are somewhat foul prone (3.9 and 3.8 fouls per 36 minutes). If the Knicks can get either of them in early foul trouble, they will have to contend with the less than stellar defense of Gasol and Radmonavic (0.9 and 0.5 blocks per 36 minutes). The Knicks should look to get inside and draw fouls. They will have to work at it as the Lakers do not give up a lot of free throws (19.6, 5th) and Los Angeles holds their opponents to a low shooting percentage (47.9 eFG%, 7th).

What to watch for 3: Me, not watching this game because it’s on NBATV and my cable company does not carry NBA TV. Thank you RCN-Washington DC. Furthermore, NBA League Pass Broadband blackouts any game on National TV. Boo!

Friday, December 19 Milwaukee [0-2 vs. Bucks this year]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98.4 106.2 50.4 15.7 23.6 19.6
Rank
1
19
12
17
27
29
Milwaukee Bucks-Defense 92.5 106.3 49.6 17.1 24.2 32.9
Rank
11
13
16
6
2
30
New York Knicks-Defense 98.4 108 50.9 14.6 27.5 18.4
Rank
1
20
23
26
18
2
Milwaukee Bucks-Offense 92.5 103.5 46.7 17.3 31 24
Rank
11
24
26
28
3
15

In the two losses to the Bucks, the Knicks had eFG% of 44.4 and 38.3. That is well below the Knicks’ average eFG% of 50.4. The Knicks need to move the ball and get good shots against a team that is not especially strong on defense (106.3, 13th, 49.6 eFG%, 16th).

What to watch for: Get to the line. The Bucks defense gives up a ton of free throws (32.9, 30th). Playing defense with their hands, rather than their feet, as Clyde would say. Getting to the line will be helpful if the Knicks are having another poor shooting night against the Bucks. As an added bonus, the fouls will get you to the Buck’s thin bench quicker.

What to watch for 2: Hope that the Bucks coaching staff does not realize that Luke Ridnour is not as good as Sessions. Sessions plays really well against the Knicks. I’m not sure why Ridnour is starting over Sessions, but I’ll take whatever keeps Sessions on the bench.

What to watch for 3: Bogut. Big, good footwork, soft touch, and efficient (54.9 eFG%) are all adjectives you don’t want to read when describing an opposing center. This is particularly true for the Knicks who have huge problems stopping those sorts of players. New York has to keep Bogut from catching the ball deep. The Knicks don’t have the size to force Bogut out, but the Knicks can pressure the entry passes so the Bucks have a harder time getting Bogut the ball.

Sunday, December 21 @ Boston [Boston won only meeting 110-101]

TEAM POSS EFF eFG TO OREB% FT/FG
New York Knicks-Offense 98.4 106.2 50.4 15.7 23.6 19.6
Rank
1
19
12
17
27
29
Boston Celtics-Defense 91.6 97.9 44.8 17.2 24.2 26.5
Rank
16
1
1
5
3
25
New York Knicks-Defense 98.4 108 50.9 14.6 27.5 18.4
Rank
1
20
23
26
18
2
Boston Celtics-Offense 91.6 109.2 51.4 17.3 27.5 29.9
Rank
16
6
6
25
9
2

Boston has changed a bit since I last reviewed the team. Most noticeably, they show a significant improvement on offense. As of the November 18th game, Boston was 26th in offensive efficiency (101.5) and 18th in eFG% (47.3). The Celtics are now in the top 10 in each category. The Celtic defense, which was very good as of November 18th (96.6 efficiency, 2nd and 43.4 eFG%, 1st) has remained the best in the NBA.

What to watch for: Well, last time I suggested the Knicks try to take advantage of the Celtic’s weak offense-so much for that suggestion now. Honestly, I can’t think of anything the Knicks could exploit. Nor do I see any particular thing the Knick should look to stop. They have to stop everything, don’t they? The Celtics are just that good. To borrow a line from “Ghostbusters” Sorry, Venkman, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought. Since I got nothing, let’s hear from you posters. Let’s see your best “What to watch for” for the Knicks/Celtics game.

20 comments on “Knicks’ Week in Advance 12/15/08

  1. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    What I’ll be watching for with the Celtics 1: The paint. The last time these two teams played, Boston rejected 8 shots and grabbed 20% of their missed shots. On the other hand the Knicks only turned back 2 shots, and only recaptured 11% of their misses. The Celtics were without Garnett the first time around so it might be harder for New Yorker to win (or tie) the battle in the paint. It’s doubtful that the Knicks can match Boston’s nastiness in the paint, but they should make sure to keep the Celtics off the offensive glass.

    What I’ll be watching for with the Celtics 2: Can the Knicks get hot? It’s obvious that New York is the inferior team, so the Knicks need to get lucky. They racked up 43 points in the first quarter against Sacramento, but they will not get as many easy looks against Boston. But this is a Knick team that can put points on the scoreboard in a hurry, and their best asset might be to play as fast as possible to disrupt the Celtic half court defense.

  2. njhoop

    According to ESPN, Theus is gone as Kings’ coach. The coach killers strike again, maybe if we beat the Suns tonight we’ll get another one.

  3. TDM

    Just testing to see if I can post, but also . . .

    I saw that GS will need to clear a roster spot when Ellis comes back from injury. They have a couple of guards on the chopping block because of the glut. Namely, Marcus Williams. We still have the trade exemption from the Balkman trade, which GS would probably have interest in so they can package it with Maggette. I still think the UConn product could have a solid NBA career, probably as a backup, but I’d like to see the Knicks give him a shot.

  4. Brendan

    I can has comment?

    Be careful what you wish for with Williams. He’s better than some options, but is among the more frustrating players you’ll see. Lackafriggingdaisical.

    Agreed w/the preview about the screen/roll tonight- it challenges the two worst Suns on defense directly and forces the others out of position to help fill the gaps. With a good shooting performance on the perimeter tonight the Knicks can easily win this.

  5. TDM

    Much to the dismay of many, it appears that I can still post.

    The PHX game tonight should be interesting also because the Suns are a team in transition right now. Word coming out that Nash is disgruntled, Amare complaining that he wants to be the central hub of the offense, losing players that were integral pieces to the D’Antoni Suns, D’Antoni’s return amidst his critiques of the Sun’s ownership . . .

    I think the Knicks may be able to pluck this one away. Any word on whether Q is back in the lineup?

  6. Gorky

    I think we’ll be lucky to win one game this week, vbecause we’re up against some freaking good frontcourts. That said, I think our best chance is the Bucks at home, though they seem to have our number.

    Against the Suns, I think we have a chance if we speed things up and trick them into playing uptempo, like the Suns used to do under D’Antoni. Although this might backfire horrifically if Porter makes the appropriate adjustments. (He won’t).

  7. Gorky

    I think we’ll be lucky to win one game this week, vbecause we’re up against some freaking good frontcourts. That said, I think our best chance is the Bucks at home, though they seem to have our number.

    Against the Suns, I think we have a chance if we speed things up and trick them into playing uptempo, like the Suns used to do under D’Antoni.

  8. Italian Stallion

    Qrich is starting tonight.

    I’m curious to see how the Knicks cope with Shaq and Amare. I think it’s going to take an excellent shooting night for us to have any chance. On a typical night the Suns can go shot for shot with us and beat us at our own game or go inside and take advantage of their size (and our lack of it). This going to be a tough one, but it’s going to be easier than tomorrow night.

  9. ess-dog

    Here’s something that made me smile:

    “Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog tells us that of the 29 shots Mardy Collins has taken in a Clipper uniform, 13 didn’t even draw iron. That has to be approaching some kind of record.”

  10. Thomas B. Post author

    Nice work on the article Mike. You must have been up for hours working on this. Great job!! :-)

  11. BigBlueAL

    Just re-registered. Tough week with 3 road games at Phx, LAL, and Boston. If they can go 2-2 somehow this week it would be GREAT. Just make sure they take care of business at home vs the Bucks.

  12. italian stallion

    Tonight is the big game because even though we are a solid underdog, it isn’t hopeless. We simply aren’t going to beat Boston or LA on the road. So to go 2-2 we need tonight’s game.

  13. jon abbey

    yeah, a really tough week, two impossible games, Milwaukee who we evidently match up terribly with, and tonight, which Phoenix will be way pumped up for. I’d be happy with 1-3, and am expecting 0-4.

  14. Thomas B. Post author

    Just testing to see if I can post, but also . . .

    I saw that GS will need to clear a roster spot when Ellis comes back from injury. They have a couple of guards on the chopping block because of the glut. Namely, Marcus Williams. We still have the trade exemption from the Balkman trade, which GS would probably have interest in so they can package it with Maggette. I still think the UConn product could have a solid NBA career, probably as a backup, but I’d like to see the Knicks give him a shot.

    I agree he is worth a look. Roberson and a 2nd round pick should do it. He has the tools but does not seem to care about getting into top shape. For that reason, I do wonder how he will fit in with D’antoni. Coach D does not suffer low energy out of shape players. Isnt that right, Eddy?

    Maybe Coach D can light the fire under him. He better flip the switch soon because if he doent get motivated he is close to joining the D-league-move over Frank Williams.

  15. beanmaxz

    Marcus Williams is worth a look in the sense that he can’t be any more useless than Roberson. But I’ve seen him in the couple of appearances he made with the Warriors this year and it’s been major doses of ugly. If D’Antoni can do something with him, he’s truly a miracle worker.

    Richardson was a great pickup for the Suns. They could get back to being one of the top teams in the league if they get their chemistry issues straightened out.

  16. KnickFaninNJ

    In reply to your questions about what strategy to use against Boston, I suggest they should try to disrupt the Celtics defensive rhythm by running a lot of plays trying to draw fouls and by mixing up their play book. This means a lot of driving on the part of Robinson and Harrington. This won’t do it all. They will also have to defend well and work really hard on defense from the start.

    What to watch for: If the Knicks can disrupt the rhthym of the Celtics defense, look for short fuses on the part of the Celtics. Them getting frustrated or angry would be a good sign for the Knicks. Also look if individual Knicks seem to be trying to elevate their game and make difficult shots to overcome the Celtics defense. That would indicate trouble for the Knicks.

    I say this because this year’s Knicks seem to have the most trouble with two types of teams. One is teams that have size that scores down low. The Phoenix game was an example of that. The Knicks really had no answer for Shaq and Stoudemire. The other type of team they have trouble with are those with really effective defenses that work hard enough and switch well enough that Knick’s offense isn’t so effective. I put Cleveland and Boston in this category. The Knicks have to realize that faced with this situation the answer is not personal offensive brilliance, they have to function well and quickly enough as a team to keep Boston fully occupied and get Boston worn out defending them.

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