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W2W4: Knicks at Pistons

Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Tuesday's game against Detroit:

Will J.R. show up? What happened to the offensive spark J.R. Smith was supposed to bring? So far, he's been the exact opposite. Smith is shooting just 22 percent from the floor in four games, including 27 percent from beyond the arc. Yikes.

The Knicks (3-6) need Smith to become a consistent scorer if they hope to rebound from their awful start.

It's unclear if Smith will start or come off the bench on Tuesday, but maybe playing Detroit will help get Smith going?

The reigning Sixth Man Award winner is averaging 18.7 points in his past six games against the Pistons.

Another factor that may motivate Smith? He's playing against Brandon Jennings for the first time since he and Jennings got in a Twitter spat over Jennings' tweet questioning Chris Smith's NBA credentials. J.R. Smith was fined $25,000 by the NBA for the threatening nature of his tweet.

Jennings, by the way, has torched the Knicks in his career. He averaged 20 points in 14 meetings against New York while with Milwaukee, his second-highest mark versus any Eastern Conference team, according to STATS LLC. He leads the Pistons with 18.3 points and 7.3 assists per game.

More from Melo? Carmelo Anthony's also had a strong history against Detroit. He's averaging 27.3 points on 52 percent shooting in his past three matchups against the Pistons.

The Knicks have won 11 of 12 against Detroit. They've won their past seven by an average of 18.8 points, per STATS LLC.

No 'D' in Detroit: Despite Detroit's size, the Pistons haven't defended well this season.

The Pistons are coming off a road loss to the Lakers in which they allowed 114 points. Detroit is surrendering 103.8 points per game and ranks last in the league with an opponent field goal percentage of 48.9, per STATS LLC.

The Knicks may be without Raymond Felton (hip/hamstring) and will play without Tyson Chandler (broken leg) and Metta World Peace (knee/bereavement). So matching up with Detroit's front line of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith could be problematic.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.