2011 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Clippers

The New York Knicks  (26-24, 14-10 at home) host the Los Angeles Clippers (19-32, 3-18 away).  The Knicks won the previous meeting in L.A. 124-115.  In the last meeting, Amar’e Stoudemire (39 points, eFG% 58.3) and Danilo Gallinari (31 points, eFG% 81.8) lead the Knicks’ overall efficient shooting night (eFG% 53.3).  Unfortunately, the Knicks defensive eFG% was not good as polished.  The Clippers’ eFG% of 58.9 would usually translate into a victory, however the Knicks overcame this significant advantage with a combination of their own efficient scoring and a huge advantage in free throws made (43 to 22).

If the Knickshope to win this game, they must not allow the Clippers to score as efficiently from the floor as they did in the last meeting.  This is of particular importance considering the the Knicks are not scoring as efficiently from the floor as they did earlier in the season. 

 Knicks  Offense          
  Pace EFF eFG% TO OREB% FT/FG
  96.2 110.1 51.4 14.5 24.2 24
Rank 2 7 8 3 24 7
 Knicks  Defense          
  Pace EFF eFG% TO OREB% FT/FG
  96.2 109.5 50.6 15.8 28.4 23.4
Rank 2 23 22 11 26 17
 Clippers  Offense          
  Pace EFF eFG% TO OREB% FT/FG
  92.3 106.2 49.6 17.4 29.9 23.5
Rank 14 18.5 15 29 4 9
 Clippers  Defense          
  Pace EFF eFG% TO OREB% FT/FG
  92.3 109.2 50.3 14.7 26.2 26
  14 20 18 23 17 27

From the above four factors, we can see that the Knicks’ eFG% is a respectable 51.4 (8th in NBA). However, over the last 10 games the Knicks eFG% is less impressive49.6, which is equal to the Clippers (15th in the NBA).  If you take out the 66.9 eFG% in the previous game against the 76ers, the eFG% drops to 47.7 (25th place).

What to watch for 1: Blake Griffin.

There is no need to rehash what Griffin ( eFG%  51.6, 21.6 points/36) did against the Knicks in the last meeting, you can’t watch an NBA highlight reel of this season without being reminded of it.  Hopefully, the Knick front line remembers and develops a plan to keep Griffin from getting the ball on fast breaks or deep in the post.  Griffin converts 67% of his shots at the rim and he averages 7.4 of those per game.  He is far less effective away from the rim hitting  43% of shots inside 10 feet that are not at the rim.