W2W4: Knicks vs. Magic
January, 30, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
As they get ready to flip the calendar to February, the Knicks are in pretty good shape: 12 games over .500, 1½ games behind Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference and 1½ games ahead of Brooklyn for first place in the Atlantic.
But Mike Woodson wants to see his team clean up a few things Wednesday against the Orlando Magic.
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Garden. Here are aspects of the game Woody will be keeping an eye on, and a couple other themes:
PERIMETER D: The Knicks have allowed their opponents to shoot 55 percent from the field over the past two games, playing the kind of defense that would make even Mike D'Antoni blush.
Woodson's concern about the Knicks' perimeter defense -- or lack thereof -- is understandable.
Philly point guard Jrue Holiday hung a career-high 35 points in an embarrassing loss for New York on Saturday. Jeff Teague scored 27 and Atlanta shot 60 percent from the floor on Sunday.
"You’ve got to take pride in guarding your man who has the ball," Woodson said.
OPPORTUNITY FOR WHITE, PRIGIONI: With Jason Kidd out due to lower back spasms, James White will start at shooting guard and Pablo Prigioni will move up to the backup point guard role.
Woodson likes White's defensive prowess. He will likely be matched up against Orlando's J.J. Redick, who is averaging 18.8 points on 50 percent shooting in the past five games.
BETTER BALL MOVEMENT! The Knicks got a Wall Street-style bailout from Carmelo Anthony on Sunday against Atlanta. Anthony scored 42 points and tied a single-game franchise record with nine 3s to save the Knicks on a night when they allowed 50 points in the paint.
Woodson will take the win, obviously, but ideally he would like to see the Knicks move the ball better rather than rely so heavily on Anthony. You'd think that the ball movement will improve with Raymond Felton back. That's something to monitor as Felton plays his third game since returning from a broken pinkie.