Scouting Report: New York Knicks

Saturday, November 16, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks

The Hawks will have a couple of firsts when they take the court Saturday night.  It’s the second night of their first back-to-back of the season, and it’s also the first opponent they’ve seen twice this year.  For some of the players, it’ll be their first time inside the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Normally back-to-backs make it difficult to prepare for the second opponent because of the short window, but the Hawks have the advantage of having just played the Knicks in Atlanta three days ago, so they should know what to expect.

In Wednesday’s game, New York’s defense was stifling.  The Hawks have scored at least 102 points in every game this season except Wednesday’s game, where they were held to just 91.  Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who coached both Jeff Teague and Al Horford in Atlanta, defended ball screens beautifully.  The Hawks re going to have to take advantage of New York’s misses and get out in transition, where they had the most success Wednesday night.  If they get stuck in half-court sets, it’ll be tough to crack the Knicks’ defense, even without their anchor Tyson Chandler.

Defensively, the Hawks didn’t do a whole lot wrong Wednesday.  A lot of the Knicks’ points came on the perimeter, and many of the shots were contested.  There were a few defensive lapses around the three-point line, but overall it wasn’t a bad effort.  The Knicks don’t pass the ball much at all, in fact they may be the definition of the ball “sticking,” but one advantage of that style of play is there aren’t a lot of opportunities for turnovers.  New York had just three on Wednesday.  So when pretty much every possession results in a shot, some are bound to go in.

Despite being a small team without Chandler, the Knicks are a physical team.  They were able to get several offensive rebounds that led to second chance points, so Atlanta will have to make sure they have a body on everybody when the shot goes up.

The Hawks were right there on Wednesday.  Better ball movement and more aggressive offense in transition should lead to a better result Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

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4 Responses to “Scouting Report: New York Knicks”

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    The drug relapse in Houston turned out to be Lucas’ last. Months later, he launched a substance recovery program which has evolved into a network of drug treatment centers for athletes. Today, he has a cult following as a training guru and life coach. Recent pupils include ex-Rutgers coach Mike Rice, Kentucky assistant Rod Strickland and NFL rookie Tyrann Mathieu. The blind free throw happened in 1987, a year after he was cut from Houston. The Milwaukee Bucks signed him midseason and he averaged a career-high 17.5 points playing under Don Nelson. That night, in his 12th game with Milwaukee, Lucas records 27 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and seven steals in a 127-104 win over New York. He sits out much of the fourth quarter, but subs back in with four minutes remaining and the Bucks leading 110-94. In his first possession, he sinks a jumper over Gerald Henderson. A couple of minutes later, he is sent to the foul line and hits the first of two freebies. The second one, the blind free throw, doesn’t go exactly how Richards remembers. Before the shot, Lucas smiles, glances at his doubles partner — who he hasn’t seen since 1978 — and shouts “No way.” But if he closes his eyes, it’s barely noticeable. It’s only for a split second. The shot goes in, he backpedals, and hustles through the 48th minute. He’s prancing around like he’s a rookie, MSG Network announcer Greg Gumbel says. The Bucks have last possession and they’re running out the clock. An unguarded Lucas is standing in the paint, calling for the ball. Forward Junior Bridgeman finds the slick lefty, who converts a mid-air, catch-and-shoot just after time expires, and disappears under the stands. Renee hasn’t seen him since.

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