Review: New York Knicks 121-109 Sacramento Kings- What a dominant first quarter! The Knicks jumped all over the Kings on the glass, from the arc, and with great ball movement. If I remember right the Knicks had a 13-2 rebounding advantage after 1 quarter to go with their 43-21 lead. I hinted that I expected the Knicks to actually win the rebounding battle when I picked the Knicks to beat the Kings as an underdog in my last blog, and that was the key to a Knicks rout. It was a laugher after that dominant 1st quarter, and a mighty fine one at that. I hope you enjoyed it Knicks fans, I don't know how often that Jeffries is going to drive down the lane for a thunderous dunk or Jerome James is going to get 2 points and a steal (If you can call it a steal, more like the ball found his hands and stuck).
- Al Harrington, what can you say? 33 points with 6 boards, 5 threes, and 4 dimes. The Kings cut the New York rout to 12 late in the 3rd, but Harrington dropped in a few big shots in a row and the game was never again in any sort of question. Let the record show that I was one of the first on the Al Harrington as an Eastern Conference All-Star train, because that thing is about to start getting crowded with people, and I want my seat in the first class section.
- Lee looked great after leaving the Nets game, dropping 17 points with 19 boards, and Nate shot over 50% on 15 shots to add 19 points. Duhon and Chandler struggled all game, Duhon only ending with 5 dimes and 10 points and Chandler having a bad day from the field, but it was great to see the Knicks win without it's emerging point guard and small forward doing much. Hopefully both with have a better game on Monday, both will be vital to the Knicks success against Phoenix.
Preview: New York Knicks (+8.5) at Phoenix Suns, Monday 9:00 pm ESTD'Antoni returns to Phoenix. Nothing more needs to be said, but I still will add a bit. Nash's reaction to D'Antoni's return will be telling to those of you in my camp that think that the Knicks possible ten million in cap room if/when Harrington opts out after this season could be a prelude to Nash wearing the Orange and Blue. Shaq is questionable with his family issues last I heard. And it will interesting to see how Stat matches up with Lee, Amare has such a huge talent advantage, but Lee has tons more heart then Amare does. If Amare doesn't come to play (and this happens a lot, he's on my fantasy team so I know all too well hahaha), the Knicks could have some success working inside/outside and off the pick and roll. J-Rich will be in line for a monster game, he likes to kill the Knicks. Shutting him down will be key. Chandler will get a test from the cagey vet Hill. It should be a fun one, but it could get ugly if the Suns all show up and lock down the glass.
Knicks-centric stats match-up:Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer.
Knicks on offense:
Knicks offensive efficiency: 103.8 points/100 (17th in the NBA)
Suns defensive efficiency: 106.8 points/100 (24th in the NBA)
Knicks on defense:
Suns offensive efficiency: 107.9 points/100 (4th in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 105.8 points/100 (23rd in the NBA)
Knicks fantasy focus (attempting to appear every Monday, made for weekly lineup roto players):Knicks weekly schedule: (4 games) at Phx, at LAL, Mil, at Bos
Knicks start of the week: Wilson Chandler - Chandler is owned in 85 percent of CBS leagues but started in only 56 percent. On a 4 game week where the Knicks play two superstar teams, Chandler's mid-range game is the Knicks best chance to get some production against the NBA elite. Chandler looks for his own shot and knows how to score, and he can get you a fair amount of boards from the 3 spot. I start Chandler every week, but if you own him, this is not a week to be scared of his tough 4 game slate, he will take his shots and be productive.
Predicted weekly stat line: 17 ppg, 1.25 3's per game, 6 rpg, 3apg, 1spg, 1bpg, average shooting % and ++ FT% (Chandler is about 85% from the line since opening night, a great trait from your 3)
Knicks sit of the week: Nate Robinson if you have better options. You might not have a choice but to start all your Knicks this week, but if you got options outside Nate, consider them. Robinson has had average to poor games so far this season vs. Milwaukee and Boston, hitting few 3's, getting few dimes, and struggling with his shot %. Nate did grab 10 boards vs. Milwaukee last time out, but that is not to be expected. LA will be a very tough game for Nate as well, so don't feel like you just can't sit Nate this week, you can if you have a better option. He is more of a #4 guard this week in fantasy then his usual #3 status.
Knicks cut of the week: Tim Thomas. I did. He's just too streaky in his minutes and production. He will anger you by scoring 6 points with 2 boards when you start him and getting 24 and 10 when you don't. Avoid the headache!
Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or maybe get something for Marbury. Phoenix is wheeling and dealing, but they have a team with very few expendable contracts right now. Everyone on Phoenix is either getting paid or not getting paid, and the only exception, Barbosa, is on a 3 year deal, usually something the Knicks don't want. However...
Knicks get: Leandro Barbosa ($6.1 million/3 years), Grant Hill (2 million/1 year)
Suns get: Jared Jeffries ($6 million/3 years), Nate Robinson (2 million/1 year)
Might just work. Right now the Knicks just have Curry and Jeffries on the books for 2010 for sure, and an option on Chandler and Danilo they will surly exercise. Ideally the Knicks would use Nate and maybe Lee to move Jeffries or Curry for an expiring contract to add to the 2010 cap space. But what if the Knicks just swap out Jeffries bad 2010 contract for Barbosa's good contract? Barbosa could help the Knicks by playing a solid 2, knowing D'Antoni's system, and spelling Duhon at the point, something the Knicks lack. Grant Hill could be a great mentor to Chandler. The Suns get Jared Jeffries, who is tall and plays D, and Nate Robinson, who could be part of the Suns future after Nash leaves. I think if you told Suns fans they could get rid of Barbosa, who is pretty useless as a Sub these days now that Jason Richardson is in town, and get a young player like Nate Robinson, they would be happy with the deal. And Barbosa would help the Knicks win now, and with enough playing time and shots, could easily be dealt for the same cap space that the Knicks would have dealt Jeffries for, or even kept and be considered a player that someone like a LeBron would want to play with. It's a pretty decent deal for both sides, and I for one would love for Chandler to get 60 games to learn from Grant Hill, he is a big part of the Knicks future and anything to help his progress, the better.
Amare (and Shaq if he plays) will decide this game. We know Nash will cut Duhon up, get some clean looks, and create clean looks for Richardson. We know the Knicks will probably get a good game out of Harrington and Chandler and Tim Thomas. But if Lee can match Amare down low, the Knicks will be in it late, and maybe with a lead. I have said a few times this year that I think the Suns are an awful team. They have a good offense and no D, but they don't play to their strengths, and I feel their record is a lot of smoke and mirrors. Amare isn't very dominant at times, and if Lee can start off frustrating Amare, the Knicks could dominate the paint on the inside. This is a very winnable game for the Knicks, and the Suns are still getting used to a new rotation, which doesn't help. I think it will be close, and I want to say the Knicks win, but I know this is New York on the road for the 4th straight game. I have to see this win to believe it, and previous history with New York forces my hand and I have to predict...
Suns 112-Knicks 107 (season record: 5-1 straight up, 3-3 ATS)
Thanks for reading