For your in-game thoughts. Merry Christmas Knickerbloggeristas!
Happy Saint Patrick’s day.
The Knicks (24-45) travel to Boston (42-24) looking for their third consecutive road win. The Knicks are only 9 games out of the final playoff spot with 13 games to play. So if the team can keep up the strong play and combine that with prolonged struggles from Toronto and Chicago the team still has a shot at the 8th–“Another round? Well sure and begorrah! I just need to (hic) finish this game preview.”–seed. Let me know in the morning if the Knicks win, just make sure you speak very softly.
Be safe tonight people. Go New York Go.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are statistically the best team in the league. Their expected win percentage (based on point differential) is .743, which is slightly worse than their actual win percentage of .784. They excel at shooting percentage on both ends of the floor (2nd offensive eFG, 1st defensive eFG) and also defensive rebounding (2nd). The Cavs biggest weakness is turnovers on both ends of the floor, although on the defensive side it’s probably a result of their scheme to stay at home instead of gamble for the big play.
There’s not much to say for the Knicks these days. D’Antoni started Nate Robinson and brought Chris Duhon off the bench, but New York still couldn’t defeat a Buck squad sans Redd and Bogut. In that game Danilo Gallinari was a non-factor on offense, not making any shots until 8:13 left in the game. Robinson shot poorly from the floor (3-12, 0-1 3P) but salvaged a horrific shooting night by earning 7 points from the charity stripe (13 points total). On the bright side, he had 7 assists without a turnover. New York had 8 blocked shots, but that belies how poor they were on defense in the paint. New York had so many blocked shots, because Milwaukee frequently brought the action to the paint.
At a time when the team had a soft spot in their schedule and a low playoff seed was within reach, the Knicks went 4-10. In their next 10 games there are certainly some winnable ones (Sacramento, Chicago twice, Oklahoma, Memphis, Washington, and Milwaukee again), but they’re going to face some great teams down the stretch. New York will meet Cleveland twice, Boston thrice, Portland, Utah, Orlando, Dallas, and San Antonio. Save for a miracle turnaround, New York is probably out of playoff contention.
|New York Knicks-Offense||93.9||106.3||50.4||15.2||23.7||19.5|
|New York Knicks-Defense||93.9||108.6||51||15.8||27.4||21.6|
New York had a laugher in their last meeting, and given their recent slide they could use another breather. The Wolves are bad at just about everything, save for rebounding. New York is a substandard rebounding team, ranking 23rd on defense and 27th on offense. Last night the Knicks allowed the Wizards to grab 24 offensive boards, so this could be an area that Minnesota tries to exploit. Meanwhile the orange & blue need to beat up on the soft Timberwolves defense, as Minny is the league’s worst team with regards to opponents eFG (allowed 52.1%). A good shooting night for New York and limiting Minnesota’s second chances seem like the keys to victory tonight.
|New York Knicks-Offense||93.7||106.3||50.7||15.3||23.4||19.4|
|New York Knicks-Defense||93.7||107.9||50.6||15.6||26.8||22.2|
By the standings the Mavs are one of the West’s premier teams, but perhaps they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be. Dallas is 3rd in the Western Conference, but their point differential is only 8th best. From a four factors standpoint they’re just above average on defense and average on offense. When the Knicks have the ball, don’t expect to hear a lot of whistles. New York is 28th at drawing fouls, and Dallas is the best team in the league at denying their opponent free points. On offense Dallas is great and holding onto the ball (3rd in four factors turnovers), but they don’t do anything else particularly well. For their reputation as an offensive juggernaut, their eFG is sub par (tied for 18th) and worse than New York’s (50.7% to 49.5%).