Tommy DeeBefore the Knicks head to Miami they have to face a scrappy Bobcats team lead by Kemba Walker out of Rice High School in Manhattan. For you older Knicks fans this team will remind you of the Rick Pitino Knicks. They’ll press you, they want to up the tempo and they want to play the game in transition. But the difference is they don’t get enough easy baskets to simply outscore you.
A Win Is Job One- The Knicks play the heat tomorrow. Everyone knows this. But this is a game that they really should win and they need to add it to the ledger. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. That’s what good veteran-led teams do night in and night out.
Don’t Give Up Easy Baskets– When you look at the numbers (YES!) the Bobcats want to play at fast tempo (10th in the league in “pace”) but they are 19th in PPG. This tells me they will give up a ton of points and rely on getting easy baskets in transition and off turnovers. The Bobcats are 3rd in the NBA in steal differential which is a critical stat for easy baskets. The good news for the Knicks? They are first in the same category. That’s a HUGE key.
Win the Free Throw Battle– On the road against a team that wants to run and gun, you simply have to slow tempo and get to the stripe. Once you are there you have to make them. PERIOD.