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Knicks (8-8) v. Hawks (9-7) Preview (11/27/10)

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The Hawks (9-7) come to MSG after slapping Wall and the Wizards around.  Coach Drew has changed defense focused on isolations last year to a motion offense.  The Hawks have been reluctant to embrace even after the initial 6-0 run.  Last game against Wizards, the Hawks were focused on the defensive end.  That may carry over into Knicks game this afternoon. Read more of our analysis of the matchups after the jump.  Also, we have a great analysis by Deborah Horton of Hawks Highlights: read A Knicks Pre-Game Q and A Supreme With Hawks Highlight.

 

 

KNICKS

New York Knicks

The Hawks (9-7) come to MSG after slapping Wall and the Wizards around but Jamal Crawford’s team has yet to beat anyone with a winning record.  They have been extremely disappointing after posting a 6-0 record to begin the season.

Coach Larry Drew, concerned about the team defense and penchant for falling behind in the first quarter of the last four games, threatened to change his line-up immediately of players did not defend.  The result? The Wiz had only 18 first quarter points. The Knicks’ defense has been better but is still one of the league’s worse as they are 27th in points allowed and 28th in field goal percentage allowed.  If Hawks take Knicks lightly and don’t work, those stats won’t matter.

Deborah Horton of Hawks Highlights provides us with excellent insight on the Hawks and what we can expect from them as the Knicks try to extend their winning streak to six.

HAWKS

PG

 

Raymond Felton


Toney Douglas

 

Mike Bibby is a 12 year vet who makes me wonder why sometimes? He is a lousy defender and does not penetrate or dish well given the weapons at his disposal.  But he is an accurate shooter at 50% from the field and 48% from three.   He is averaging 10.1 points and only 3.6 assists (to 1 turnover) per game.  Felton, Douglas and everybody else should mop the floor with him on their offensive end.  But gotta remember he is still in the NBA for some reason. Perhaps its to stand in the perimeter while Jamal Crawford runs point. On the last five games Felton has averaged 22 points (52-percent from the field and 90 percent from the line), 8.6 assists and 3 steals.  Expect his matchup against Bibby to be a mismatch.  Felton’s biggest problem will be his turnovers and defense against longish Hawks squad. . . .

Jamal Crawford is said to have been their most consistent player so far, but his stats are so-so. No longer a the primary scoring option,  his shot selection has improved.  He is averaging 13.7 points (on 42% FG and only 33% from tre) and 3.3 assists per game. Despite poor performance from the arc, he is getting to the rim.  It will be interesting to see him get around Gallo and go at Turiaf and Studdy.  It will be even more interesting if he is asked to guard Gallo.

PG

Mike Bibby 

Bibby

Jamal Crawford 

Crawford

SG

Landry Fields


Bill Walker

Perhaps Coach Drew’s team meeting has awakened Joe Johnson who put up 21 points (8-of-16 FG, 3-of-5 3Pt, 2-of-2 FT), five rebounds and five assists against Wiz in 27 minutes.  Versatile, but probably adjusting to motion offense where the ball is supposed to stay in his hands for shorter periods.  Good mid-range shooter and defender. . . . Fields continues to impress with his steady efficiency and hustle.  He does not need the ball to be useful as he seems to always make the right play.  He’s averaging 10.5 points and 7 boards a game. . . .Walker a role player (14.2 mpg) who adds athleticism and a three point shot.

SG

Joe Johnson 

Johnson

Jordan Crawford

Crawford

SF

 

 Danilo Gallinari

Anthony Randolph

 

Marvin Williams may be turning into the invisible man. His minutes are down and he is less productive  perhaps due to knee problems.  He scored only 6 points and had 4 boards in 24 minutes against Wiz. Will shoot long two and probably be subbed out for Jamal early in  the game. . . . Gallo disappeared against Charlotte with 9 points and 7 boards in 36 minutes.  Lack of aggression apparent in only 4 free throw attempts (he hit three of them). Expect Gallo to drive to basket and either get fouled or turn it over.  If Hawks clamp down on perimeter ‘D’ Gallo will vanish again late in game. . . .Randolph is no longer in rotation.

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SF

Marvin Williams Williams

Josh PowellPowell

PF

Amare Stoudemire

Wilson Chandler

 Josh Smith dropped 20 points and pulled 14 rebounds against the Wizards.  He was a terror in loss to Mavs with 21 pts, 6 assists, 5 boards and 6 steals on 10-19 shooting.   He disappeared against Boston with 2 points in 22 minutes.  Smith with his length, speed and athleticism could make it difficult for Knicks on both ends.  He has a lefty post up game, but a not-so-impressive long distance shooter.  Expect lots of blocked shots, steals and inside baskets. . . .Stoudemire should be up for this game, but must watch out and not try to do too much.  Hawks should be ready to double him and force others to beat them.

Chandler must be aggressive. Last game he was 4-5 from tre. The bad news is that he can’t be tre happy against Hawks.  He will need to engage them closer to basket and exhibit more physicality.

PF

Josh Smith 

Smith

Maurice EvansEvans

 

C

Timofey Mozgov


Rony Turiaf


 

 Al Horford scored 15 points (6-of-11 FG, 3-of-3 FT), grabbed 13 rebounds and added one steal and two blocks in 28 minutes in Wiz win.  With nine double-doubles in 16 games, he can be the difference maker.  Look for him to start and finish primary break and hit long jumpers and hook shots in the post up game.   He should be getting to foul line more since he has a height disadvantage and speed advantage at center Not really a true center; he may be Mozzy’s first NBA poster boy.Turiaf is starting in place of Mozgov.  D’Antoni figured out how much he relied on Turiaf when he was out during the losing streak. 

Foul prone Mozgov has not been much of a factor recently; 0 points and 2 boards in 11 minutes in last game against Charlotte. . . . Rony Turiaf is critical to interior defense however his play may be limited by a sprained left knee, dislocated pinkie and sore calf.  He played only 17 minutes in last win against Charlotte.

 

C

Al Hoford 

Horford

Josh Powell

Powell