Warriors @ Knicks: ESPN, MSG 8pm
The Knicks face Mark Jackson’s Golden State Warriors at MSG tonight. Jackson was a one time Rookie of the Year for the Knicks, but I see him as more of a part of the hated Indiana Pacers after all the playoff battles in the mid to late 90’s. Jackson annoys the hell out of me; I don’t care what anybody says. Anyways…the Warriors are the best three point shooting team percentage wise in the NBA and they have guards who are quick as hell, especially in Steph Curry and Jarrett Jack. I don’t know how the hell the Knicks are going to stop these guys. It’s going to take a team effort and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kenyon Martin’s debut in this game to help contain the penetration. The Warriors are also 9th in offensive efficiency and 10th in rebounding rate, but like I said they kill you with dead eye shooting and they play at the sixth fastest pace in the NBA. They are a bottom team in the league in turnovers committed and the Knicks must get in their face and rotate properly or will they will get smashed.
The most concerning aspect the Knicks will face tonight, is that though the Warriors are not only great at shooting the three, they are excellent at defending the three ball as well. They allow just the fourth lowest opponents three point shooting percentage in the entire league, holding opponents to 34.1% and they are 9th best in opponents overall field goal percentage. As the Knicks live and die by the three, the Knicks need to attack and once again get to the free throw line, especially Carmelo, Felton, Smith and Amar’e. Jason Kidd will shoot his way out of his current slump, but the Knicks can only get better in one way, and that is attacking the basket to free up wide open jump shots for Novak, Kidd, and Shumpert. Eventually, those shots will fall.
The Knicks are at home trying to get a 2 game home winning streak going, after starting 10-0 at home, they have gone just 10-8 since and they are just 1.5 games ahead of the Nets and one game behind the Pacers for the 2nd seed in the East. They must win tonight before heading to Washington on Friday, who has been on fire, and then welcome Miami on Sunday afternoon and head off to Cleveland on Monday night for a back to back. I look forward to the challenge for the Knicks tonight. A win will be an immense confidence booster for New York. It will be a good measuring stick to determine if the Knicks really can get it back together. GO KNICKS!