Monday, January 20, 2014
W2W4: Knicks vs. Nets
By Ian Begley
Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee against the Nets at Madison Square Garden:
Snapping the streak? Forget about the East River Rivalry for a second. The Knicks just need a win on Monday. New York is desperate to snap a three-game losing streak that’s included a road loss to Charlotte and losses to Indiana and Los Angeles by a combined 42 points.
The Knicks (15-25) hope to start to climb that hole over the next six games, all of which are at home and against teams that are six games under .500.
“We really gotta buckle in and concentrate on what’s at hand. Because this could really make our season if we take care of business,” Mike Woodson said on Sunday.
Worth noting: The Knicks beat the Nets on Dec. 5 to snap a three-game losing streak.
Pablo back? The Knicks will likely get Pablo Prigioni back on Monday. Woodson may choose to start Prigioni in the back court alongside Raymond Felton.
The two-point guard lineup was fantastic for the Knicks late last season. With Prigioni and Felton in the backcourt, the Knicks reeled off 13 straight wins and went 15-1 in the regular season.
Anthony was also extremely effective at power forward, scoring an NBA-high 28.7 points per game in the regular season. Woodson has opted to go with a big starting lineup featuring Anthony, Bargnani and Tyson Chandler on the front line.
With the Knicks struggling and dealing with injuries on the front line, the coach may feel that it’s time for a change. We’ll find out shortly. If he does, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks choose to matchup with Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, who has scored at least 23 in four of his last five games.
Fair fight: The Nets, winners of six of their last seven, are the hotter team coming into this game. Statistically, the teams have been fairly equal over the course of the season.
Brooklyn’s allowing 105.8 points per 100 possessions. The Knicks are allowing 105.7. The Nets are scoring 102.6 points per 100 possessions. The Knicks are scoring 101.8.
The two teams’ rebounding rate -- a percentage of missed shots a team rebounds -- is separated by 0.1 percent. And their just as close in their pace of play: Brooklyn is 27th and New York is 29th.