The New York Knicks looked very good in their first two games of the season and look to continue their hot start when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night, just a day after beating the Sixers 100-84.
A good start is exactly what the Knicks need this season after coming out of the gate poorly a season ago. Winning three in a row, two of which against an Atlantic Division rival to start the season could be just what the doctor ordered.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about tonight’s Atlantic Division clash.
When: Monday, November 5 at 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Watch: MSG, CSN, NBA League Pass
Records: New York Knicks (2-0), Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)
Betting Line: Philadelphia (-4)
Injuries (via CBSSports.com)
- Marcus Camby (calf), questionable
- Iman Shumpert (knee), out
- Amar’e Stoudemire (knee), out
- Kwame Brown (calf), probable
- Andrew Bynum (knee), doubtful
- Jason Richardson (ankle), questionable
Keys for the Knicks to win
1. Continue to Shoot Well- The Knicks are 30-for-63 from behind the arc in two games. They should continue to get open looks and need to keep knocking shots down.
2. Score in the Paint- Without Andrew Bynum in the lineup, the Knicks need to take advantage of the Sixers small lineup. Mike Woodson has been going small as well, but the Knicks need to take advantage and score at will in the paint.
3. Defense, Defense, Defense- The effort on the defensive end has been great through two games as the Knicks have allowed only 84 points in the first two games. If that keeps up, this team will win a lot of games. The Sixers turned the ball over 18 times on Sunday, with six of those belonging to point guard Jrue Holiday.
Raymond Felton vs. Holiday
Speaking of Holiday, the Knicks must do another good job of pressuring him and forcing him into mistakes with the ball.
Despite the Knicks win on Sunday, Holiday was a bright spot for the Sixers, scoring 27 points and dishing out seven assists on 61.1-percent shooting, knocking down five of his six three-point attempts.
The Knicks must make it tougher on the Sixers’ point guard this time around.
That job will primarily fall on Felton.
Speaking of Felton, he did shoot 50 percent from the floor Sunday afternoon but had only 11 points and one assist. If Felton puts up solid numbers, it could be three straight wins for the Knicks.
Prediction: The past five games between the two teams at the Wells Fargo Center have been decided by five points or less. I expect something similar and I also expect the Knicks to open the season 3-0 for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Knicks 95, Sixers 90.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.