Saturday, November 24, 2012
W2W4: Knicks vs. Pistons
By Jared Zwerling
Can the Knicks bounce back after two straight losses? If there's a rebound game that's winnable, it's Sunday afternoon against the 3-10 Pistons.
Tipoff will be at 1 p.m. Here are three things to watch for at the Garden:
1. Can the Knicks get back to their bread and butter, and D up? In their past two games (both losses), they allowed more than 100 points -- the first time that's happened since Mike Woodson took over as head coach. When they started 7-1, they were holding opponents to 90.0 points per game (the best mark in the NBA). The Knicks especially need to improve their isolation defense.
2. Can the Knicks show more muscle inside? The Rockets dominated on the boards and scoring in the paint on Friday night. They were led by active, aggressive center Omer Asik, who finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. On Sunday, the Knicks face centers Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, who are also tough and relentless inside. Could we see Marcus Camby? Woodson has said he wants his backup center in better game shape, so without a practice on Saturday, it could be unlikely. Perhaps Rasheed Wallace, who missed the Rockets game with a sore left foot, will play.
3. Hey, how about some ball movement? While Woodson went to Carmelo Anthony mostly in the Rockets game to expose mismatches (weaker defenders like Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones), it was a little too much Melo. His teammates became stagnant at times, looking like the Knicks of old. They need to get back to ball movement and efficiency. On Friday night, they had four turnovers in the first quarter alone and 15 for the game (their season average was only around 10 entering the game).