W2W4: Knicks vs. Timberwolves
November, 3, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY SportsThe Knicks would love to see Andrea Bargnani get off to a good start against the Wolves.Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Sunday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Big night for Bargnani: The Knicks would love to see Andrea Bargnani get off to a good start -- especially at home.
Bargnani had a rough camp and opened the season with a 3-for-9 performance in the Knicks' win over Milwaukee. The next night against Chicago, Bargnani tallied nine points in the third quarter, hopefully showing some signs that he's on his way out of a mini-shooting slump.
Will that continue Sunday against Kevin Love and the Timberwolves? It's worth watching because there was some grumbling from the Garden crowd after Bargnani missed his first four shots in Wednesday's opener.
If he doesn't get off to a quick start Sunday, that grumbling may grow into full-throated boos. And if it does, it will be interesting to see how Bargnani reacts since he had a tough time dealing with the boobirds in Toronto.
This setting in New York is supposed to be different for the former No. 1 pick. In New York, Bargnani is not looked at as the face of the franchise. He's viewed as a complementary piece for Carmelo Anthony.
The bottom line, however, is that the Knicks would like to see him start hitting his shots more consistently.
Turn down the turnovers? New York averaged an NBA-low 11.6 turnovers per game last season. While only two games into the season, if they are any indication, the Knicks may have a tough time topping the turnover list this year.
Averaging 18.5 turnovers per game in 2013-14, they have the ninth-highest total in the NBA.
Mike Woodson said Saturday that he would like to see the team take better care of the ball. He would also like to see the Knicks improve their ball movement.
"I think in doing that it will make us better in the long run," he said. "Defensively, a lot of teams are so used to teams playing one side where they can load up defensively, so we've got to get out of that mode [of keeping the ball on one side of the floor]."
D-Licious: Things have worked out well for the Knicks on the defensive end thus far. While allowing a league-low 87.5 points per 100 possessions, they're holding opponents to 45.8 percent shooting from the floor -- the 19th-best mark in the league.
The Wolves rank 24th in field goal percentage and last in 3-point percentage but are 10th in points scored per offensive possession. So they should provide a strong test for New York's defense Sunday.
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