What We Are Looking For vs. The Magic

Tommy Dee

Fresh off back to back losses to the Nets, the Magic host the Knicks tonight. I’ve watched every Magic game and this is a team that can be a pest offensively if they are making shots early in the game. The Knicks embark on a serious road swing that takes them deep in the south, but, like any veteran team can do, they must not lose focus and look past the Magic tonight.

Handle Your Business- The Knicks haven’t played in a few days, which would be usually be worrisome. This is when teams not focused can fail to pay attention to detail. They must, MUST close possessions on the defensive end and close out on jump shooters. You’d expect a sloppy start offensively, and if that happens the defensive effort and attention to detail must be doubled.

Energy- Looking at you J.R. Smith. Even if the team gets out to a great start, Smith needs to sustain his good play. A great 6th man brings it every night. It’s a vital role for a great team and it’s a role that Smith needs to be embracing. He seems to have found a home here. He can have nights where he’s the team’s top scorer, but he needs to lead them in energy every game. This is very critical on the first game of a long road trip.

Minutes Distribution- Woodson has been masterful at this thus far. Now he will really be put to the test. How long will he push guys tonight will be interesting to see based on what lies ahead. Will Camby see more minutes? How about Wallace? Kidd? Melo? Woodson the orchestrator must continue the harmony in South Florida.