Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekly Knicks Thoughts

Hey, ya'll. Sorry for the lack of a recap following the Indiana game on Saturday. I just didn't have the opportunity to post much this weekend, but things will be back to normal on here this week.

Photo by Jim McIsaac
This week presents some interesting scenarios for the Knicks. They play four games in five nights, three of them against sub-.500 opponents. Nothing ever comes easy for the Knicks, but in terms of their current (albeit small) resurgence over the last three games, this week's schedule gives them the opportunity to gain some ground in the Eastern Conference.

Take the jump for some thoughts and facts on the week

Games: 3/20 vs. Toronto, 3/21 @ Philadelphia, 3/23 @ Toronto, 3/24 vs. Detroit

 - The Knicks are 3-0 since Mike Woodson has taken over as head coach. That's just interesting enough, so I'll let that stand on its own.

 - In that stretch, the Knicks are holding opponents to 39% FG and forcing 20 turnovers per game (per Ian Begley). Of course, those numbers may be a bit inflated by Portland's atrocious performance last Wednesday, in which they committed 27 turnovers themselves.

 - During the 3-0 stretch, no Knick is averaging over 17 ppg or over 33 mpg. Depth!

 - Aside from Philadelphia, the Raptors and Pistons are a collective 31-59. A win percentage of just .344, so for the Knicks to play three games against these teams this week, well, it's a good opportunity.

 - Despite such a shaky season, the Knicks at 21-24 are half a game ahead of Milwaukee for 8th place in the East, two and a half games behind Boston for 7th place, and four games behind Philadelphia for the division lead.

 - According to Alan Hahn, Baron Davis is practicing today, but is still questionable for tomorrow. To stay on the safer side of things, maybe leave him out until Wednesday's game, or even Friday if Mike Bibby continues to play well as he did vs. Indiana.

 - Toney Douglas's son, Toney Jr., was born March 15th! So, congrats to Toney and his wife on the birth of their son who will surely do what Toney Douglases do. Also, Toney will rejoin the team this week which makes Baron Davis's return somewhat less important. There is some depth at the PG spot.

 - Over the last three games, Amar'e Stoudemire is averaging only 9 shot attempts per game, but is taking 5 of them at the rim per game. And he's finishing around the rim at 73% clip. With two days rest and his continued pursuit of dropping weight, Amar'e may be getting some of his spring back. Philadelphia and Detroit are actually in the bottom half in terms of opponents' FG% at the rim, while Toronto is actually 3rd in the league in protecting the basket. It will be interesting, however, to see how Amar'e holds up by the third and fourth games in the five day stretch.

 - The Knicks are collectively shooting 41% 3FG over the past three games, which is part of the reason their offense has clicked. Not to detract from Woodson or credit Mike D'Antoni too much, but making open 3-pointers is a good way to give yourself a chance to win games. Philadelphia and Toronto both guard the 3-point line pretty well, but Detroit does not. We'll see how well the Knicks can keep shooting from out there.

 - All three of this week's opponents are in the bottom ten in TS%. However, the Sixers are 12th in the league in offensive efficiency. The Knicks defense has been suffocating for the better part of the last three games, we'll see how they defend against mostly sub-par offenses.

 - Ronny Turiaf is available now.... JUST SAYIN'!

Those are all my thoughts on the week. Comment if you have any additional ones. I look forward to seeing how this Woodson-led team continues to develop, and hopefully win!

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