Tough tests facing the Knicks over the next few days

Harris Decker

On The Knicks Blog Podcast, Moke Hamilton and I discussed what the next few games mean to the Knicks. The truth is, the winning streak has been great, and even though it came to an end against the Bobcats, the real test is how the team bounces back. Teams lose games. It happens. Now it’s time to step up to the plate and find a way to take at least two of the next three games against tough, tough competition.

Iman Shumpert, David West108Knicks @ Pacers, Thursday, January 16th at 7:00 p.m.

The Knicks take on the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. Of the three games, this is the largest challenge. Winners of five of six, the Pacers are a formidable challenge for any team, scoring and playing defense as well as any team in the NBA. There are two matchups in this game that will set the tone and likely decide the outcomes. First, is the play by the two centers. Roy Hibbert is the type of center that has the ability to pull down a seemingly uncountable number of rebounds. What the Knicks need is a great game from Tyson Chandler to counteract some of this play.

The second key will be the matchup between Paul George and whoever guards him on the Knicks. Likely a combination of Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert, George has become an elite player and has a knack for knocking great scorers off their game. If he’s covering Anthony, which is likely, it will be important for him to dish when necessary and keep his shots smart.

Clippers @ Knicks, Friday, January 17th at 7:00 p.m.

For weeks we’ve heard about various league sources stating that a Blake Griffin-for-Carmelo trade may or may not be on the table. Now the two get to go head-to-head in the Garden. The last time these two teams hooked up, the Knicks were in a bad place. They lost their 7th game in a row to the Clippers as a part of a miserable West coast trip.

brooklyn-nets-v-york-knicks-20121219-180646-641

Now, both teams come in playing some great basketball. What you have to like about this matchup is that Chris Paul will not be a part of it. Guards kill the Knicks and Paul is one of the best. His absence means that the focus of the Knicks defense will have to be on Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick, both of whom have been playing very well. It will be interesting to see who defends Blake and if Amar’e Stoudemire’s post game is effected by Griffin and DeAndre Jordan’s rough style of defense.

Nets @ Knicks, Monday, January 20th at 2:30 pm

The final game in this test is against the crosstown rival Brooklyn Nets. The first time these two teams hooked up the Knicks came away with the win. At the time, both teams were flailing, not winning many games. Now, both teams are hot, playing much better and gaining ground in the East. Brook Lopez will miss the game and it’s likely that Deron Williams could as well. It will be awesome to see Carmelo and Stoudemire against Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Shaun Livingston could be the toughest guy on the court for the Knicks to match up with. He’s a lengthy veteran guard who’s been lighting up the box score. He’s averaging 12 points a game over the past few weeks and is truly dynamic, rebounding the ball as well as he scores it. Joe Johnson vs. Iman Shumpert is the other key to this matchup to watch. Overall, this game will come down to a number of one-on-one matchups.

22 comments
ds2488
ds2488

Not too concerned about this "tough stretch".  Nyets are still the Nyets and Clippers are without their best player.  If the Knicks play well, they can definitely/easily beat both those teams and go 2-1 over this stretch.  Indy is tough but we know the Knicks can play them well


Knicks just have to get their pg situation settled again- Ray's performance the past 2 games has been remarkably bad.  You can't have a pg playing 30+ that plays atrocious defense and can't create more than 3 assists for teammates and shoots a poor percentage.  


Knicks need more offense from Shump and more minutes for Timmy and Toure,  I've said a while, but that Toure/Timmy/Shump lineup is nice.

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

None of us truly have any idea what's going to happen the next three, the problem is neither does the team.  Are they going to be the Knicks that played inspired ball to beat the Spurs on the road, the Heat at home, or the team that languished against the Bobcats who just happened to lose to the Sixers.  it's all about consistency, something this team has bot been able to do for the majority of the season.  Did the knicks turn the corner in 2014, and are the team that went 6-1, or the team that showed up against the Bobcats that resembled the 9-21 knicks. 

Mr.Boots
Mr.Boots

Hey, as long as we are running on hope and prayers along with subjective speculation, I might as well go for 3-0. Maybe Indy will be complacent about beating the Knicks and be flat. It happens to the best of teams.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Why are people making it seem as if Indiana is unbeatable?  Give me a break.  We would be a shump foul away from being 1-0 in the season series against them, people need to get a grip.

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

Without CP3, we should beat the Paperclips and we should always beat the Nets.   Therefore, we need to go 2-1 in the next 3 games.  If somehow we beat Indy, that's a nice treat for the week.


knickster
knickster

2-1 would be very nice. 1-2 expected. 0-3 is back to the cellar. 3-0 Sandro will stay in Africa and Biggie will take full control of the blog...lol

Seth Nadler
Seth Nadler

Knicks could easily lose all 3, shockingly win all three, pleased with 2-1, expecting 1-2

tifoso6
tifoso6

The Knicks are in turmoil.   According to the papers today Dolan and Mills told Woodson to hold the players more accountable.  So now we have Woodson on the discipline kick.   I think benching Smith in the Carolina game was immature on Woodson's part.  He should have politely told Smith that he the coach makes the

decisions on who plays when and that Smith will have to accept that.   If Smith said  I will not accept than he

should have been disciplined and suspended for a few games.  Benching hurts the team and does not

do much good.  Weak coach and weak point guard as I have said since the beginning of the season.

zebeto
zebeto

For me the Knicks winning 2 out of the 3 (clips and nets @ home) ......and im a happy camper ...............not too optomistic about the game @ indy tonight

xmenreturn
xmenreturn

@Mr.Boots   I hear ya. I might as well grab a Helmet and play along too.

Harris Decker
Harris Decker

@MeloStat301 I mean they are a great team. Not calling them unbeatable but they are a tough team to beat, especially at home.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@MeloStat301 

To me, Indiana is in better shape than we are. They have a set rotation and starting lineup. They pretty much, aside from injuries, will roll with what they have for the rest of the year. We don't have a clue as to who will start from game to game and what the rotation will look like. That is a work in progress. So while we certainly can beat anybody in the league, we still have to figure out what our best lineups are and get them comfortable laying together. 

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@Knicks_Fanatic@MeloStat301 They were in better shape the last time we faced as well.  Chandler and felton were both out, and we still took them to OT only because of a mistake on shumps part, pacers are very beatable.