The New York Knicks had a rough stretch over the weekend, losing both of their tilts against the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets
respectively. Without resident chucker Carmelo Anthony in the lineup, the Knicks resorted to chucker by committee, attempting 69 three point attempts in those two games. The particularly disconcerting part about those attempts is the lack of precision with which those jumpers were taken; the Knicks made just 23 of those 69 attempts—a mark of 33%.
The reality now for this team—as they find themselves in 10th place in the East—is that they are in real danger of not making the playoffs if they continue to perform the way they are currently performing. The glaring lack of point guard play is an obvious reason why this team has struggled, however the effort level defensively is something that can, and needs to change. At this juncture the Knicks just aren’t playing like a team that wants to win these games.
With this in mind, tonight is the perfect time for the struggling Detroit Pistons to be rolling into town to face the Knicks. The Pistons will enter tonight’s game with just one more win than the last place Charlotte Bobcats, making them a prime target for the Knicks to grab a much needed W against.
Defensively, the Knicks should actually have an advantage for once; Detroit’s best offensive threat is Greg Monroe who leads the team with 15.8 points per game, yet with Tyson Chandler’s ability to defend the post in one on one situations the Knicks should be able to slow the Piston’s interior attack.
On the offensive side of the ball, it will again be important for the Knicks to share the rock and attack the basket. The Pistons are not a great defensive team, particularly when protecting the paint. The Pistons are dead last in the league in blocks per game, which means the Knicks should have ample opportunity to take the ball to the basket without disruption.
In an offensive related side note, the Knicks will be without Baron Davis this week, however we may see a little more of Jeremy Lin who gave the team some good minutes over the weekend. In terms of pure point guard play, Lin might be the best point guard on the roster; so inserting him into the lineup more often may give the Knicks’ offense a much needed lift.
Providing that they defend with a mild amount of enthusiasm and don’t fall in love with the three-point shot this should be an easy win, and really, a confidence builder for this struggling Knicks squad.
But then again, nothing so far this season has been easy for the Knickerbockers, or their fans.