Wednesday, November 20, 2013
W2W4: Knicks vs. Pacers
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during tonight's Knicks-Pacers game:
Troubling waters: The Knicks have lost three straight and four of five. If they lose tonight, it will be the team's first four-game losing streak since March.
Last season's team, according to Carmelo Anthony, had the confidence to handle four-game skids. He's not sure his team has the same inner-confidence.
"Everybody’s kind of shaken up a little bit, not knowing how to figure it out, not knowing what’s going on," Anthony said.
And that was before the loss to Detroit.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Knicks (3-7) Wednesday. They take on an Indiana Pacers team that is tied with San Antonio for the best record in the NBA at 9-1.
Will the Knicks be motivated to beat the team that ended their season last year? If not, things may get ugly tonight at MSG.
Putting the 'D' in Indy: The Pacers have given up an NBA-low 90 points per 100 possessions and have held opponents to 39.8 percent shooting. That doesn't bode well for a Knicks team that enters play Wednesday ranked 18th in points per 100 possessions.
New York has struggled on offense of late. Mike Woodson's club has shot 40.9 percent, including 42-for-130 from long range, according to STATS LLC, during a 1-4 stretch that began with a 31-point home loss against San Antonio.
Too much Iso offense? Here's a telling stat: The Knicks lead the NBA in percentage of isolation plays (13.2) and rank 23rd in points per play in isolation (0.75).
The health of Raymond Felton (hip/hamstring) has certainly affected ball movement. With J.R. Smith out for the first five games due to suspension and struggling to find his form early on, the Knicks have relied heavily on Anthony.
They may have to do the same tonight.
It's uncertain at this point if Felton will play. Metta World Peace (knee) may also sit out.