Game Thread: Knicks Vs Blazers

Notice the contrast between the two rebuilding franchises.

Thomas B.:

December 2 Portland [First meeting of the teams this year.]

New York Knicks-Offense 98.8 107 50.3 14.8 23.5 19.3
Rank 1 11 10 10 27 29
Portland Trail Blazers-Defense 86.2 107.3 49.7 16.2 25.2 23.5
Rank 30 18 21 13 8 13
New York Knicks-Defense 98.8 109.4 51.5 14.5 28.8 18.8
Rank 1 26 27 25.5 25 2
Portland Trail Blazers-Offense 86.2 113.5 51.4 15.1 32.8 22.1
Rank 30 2 3 12 1 21

Terrible Tuesdays continue for the Knicks (four Tuesday games, four playoff teams), this time Portland comes to town. In some ways, the Blazers are the Bizzaro Knicks. The Blazers are dead last in pace (86.6 possessions per game), while the Knicks are first in pace (98.7 possessions per game). The Blazers are a great rebounding team (detailed below), while the Knick are not. The Blazers waived a highly paid, petulant, offensive minded point guard before a power play between he and management became a distraction. The Knicks… well you know the story.

What to watch for 1: Rebounding. The Knicks are going to have trouble keeping the Blazers off the glass. The Blazers are 2nd in offensive rebound percentage (32.6%), and none too shabby on defensive glass securing all but 25.1% of defensive rebounds (6th). The Knicks give up 28.8% of all defensive rebounds (24th), while securing 23.5% of available offensive boards (27th). Long story short: make the first shot; there will not be many second chances.

What to watch for 2: The neutralization of David Lee. Lee at center is not going to have the easy match ups he had against the Warriors. Oden and Aldridge are solid interior defenders and strong shot blockers (2.7 and 1.3 blocks per 36 minutes respectively). What Lee can do to help the team is work the pick and roll with Duhon and then hit the 15 footer with consistency (why don’t they run that more with Lee and Harrington’s mid range game?). If Lee can lure Oden out of the paint, it could open things up for drives to the lane (if only there was a Knick that liked to do that).

What to watch for 3: The Blazers are exceedingly efficient on offense (113.1, 2nd in the NBA) and from the floor (51.1 eFG%, 5th). The Knicks will need a solid defensive effort against this team.

2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs Wizards


[Knicks won the last meeting 114-108.]

What can you say? Almost nothing is going right for Washington. The Wizards are one of the worst teams on both offense (27th) and defense (27th). They are without two of last year’s starters; Gilbert Arenas will be out until December, and Brendan Haywood may not play at all this year. Combine that with the slow start from Deshawn “You can’t see me” Stevenson, and you get arguably the worst team in the conference.

What to watch for: Who is going to guard Caron Butler? Butler dropped 30 on the Knicks and pretty much scored at will. Butler is the Wizards’ best player in terms of creating his own offense (18.8 PTS/36, 24th in the league in Usage Rate), so the Knicks would do well to disrupt him and keep the ball out of his hands.

What to watch for 2: Nate Robinson v. Deshawn Stevenson. Did anyone else notice these two jawing in the first game? Nate scored twice on Stevenson and showed him the “you can’t see me” hand gesture that Stevenson used last year. Robinson has played well this year but his constant taunting and talking is starting to annoy me. MSG decided to have him on microphone for an entire game. Why provide a showboat like Robinson a stage like that? That’s like letting Pookie work in your crack house. Damn Nino, what were you thinking?

2008-9 Game Thread: Knicks vs Mavericks

The Knicks face a slumping 2-7 Dallas team at home this Sunday evening.

The Mavericks are on a five game losing streak and consider this a must-win.

From the Star-Telegram via Mavs Moneyball:

“We’ve got to get a win somehow,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “Scratch, fight, whatever it takes. It’s not pretty. We’ve got to find a way to win this game in New York. New York has got incredibly better and they’re a run-and-gun team now. We’ve got to find a way to get in there, get some stops and find a way to win the game.”

New York is looking for their second 3-game win streak of the season. Tip-off is at 6pm.

Seven Seconds or Mess: Play of the Week 11/13/08

[The Play of the Week sponsored by Seven Seconds or Mess. Visit their site for more X’s & O’s goodness.]

Has it been a week already? Well, close enough.

(Note: The gray defensive circles labeled 1-5 are position specific. A point guard is a 1, a center is a 5, etc.)

As you can see, it’s not as “tricky” as last week’s play, but equally effective. This time the key isn’t in the design of the play. Instead, it’s how Chris Duhon reads Chandler’s defender.

Seven Seconds or Mess: Play of the Week 11/7/08

Hey guys, Gian here. If you’re not familiar with my work, please visit Seven Seconds or Mess. If you are familiar, enjoy the new segment.

This is a podcast I’ll be posting each week exclusively on KnickerBlogger.Net. It breaks down what I consider to be the best play of each week.

(Note: The gray defensive circles labeled 1-5 are position specific. A point guard is a 1, a center is a 5, etc.)