- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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For the first time since Mike Woodson took over as head coach, the Knicks have lost four straight.
Is it time to panic?
That depends on what happens Sunday night against the Sixers.
Here are a few things to watch during the game:
GETTING STOPS: The last time the Knicks faced Philly, they were embarrassed by All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, who put up a career-high 35 points in a 97-80 Sixers win on Jan. 26.
Bad news for Knicks fans: The team's defense hasn’t improved much since.
New York showed an improved effort against Toronto on Friday night, but still gave up 100 points and allowed Rudy Gay to torch them for 32, including 17 in the third quarter.
Switching on pick-and-rolls has been an issue for most of the season. The Knicks tend to switch on the play, which often creates a mismatch for the opposition.
It will be interesting to see how the Knicks defend Philly’s pick-and-roll Sunday.
In the Jan. 26 loss to the Sixers, many Knicks said the Sixers used Holiday in the pick-and-roll on nearly every play.
DON’T SETTLE: Woodson was upset with his team after the Toronto loss because the Knicks often settled for jumpers late in the game instead of attacking the rim and getting to the free-throw line.
Will they change their ways against Philly?
If they do, it would come at the expense of the 3-pointer -- and that could be a good thing. The three has been a staple of the Knicks’ offense all season. They lead the league in both attempts and makes per game. But the threes haven’t been falling as regularly recently.
The Knicks were hitting 41 percent of their threes after play on Dec. 15. They are down to 37 percent now. You can't make a direct correlation, but it's interesting to note that New York is 14-15 since Dec. 15.
LINEUP CHANGE? Woodson said Saturday that he wasn’t sure who his starting five would be against Philly. He’s said the same thing in recent days, but has ultimately remained consistent with his starting five: Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.
Some fans/media have suggested that Kidd should be benched and Amar'e Stoudemire should start. We'll see how it shakes out on Sunday afternoon.
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