Tommy DeeAnother afternoon affair on a Sunday for the Knicks, who have done well thus far this year under these circumstances. A great sign from a veteran group.
The Suns have some talent and are trying to gain an identity in the post Steve Nash era and Goran Dragic is really helping. Their problem is there bench, which struggles to score points. The Suns love to play up tempo and like we saw in Houston that can cause an issue for the Knicks’ defensive rotations, but the Suns do a poor job of defending, specifically on the perimeter. Teams are shooting 47% from the field against the Suns and 44% from.
- Bench Play- The Knicks’ bench has been a really strength for them this season and they must outplay the Suns. Phoenix has a nice core group of young players, but they rely on journeymen bench players Jermaine O’Neal and Sebastian Telfair for major minutes. Advantage Knicks.
- Make Brown Handle the Rock– Dragic likes to dictate tempo, but the Suns don’t have a secondary ball handler. The Knicks would do well to throw a few traps and deny a few outlet passes to Dragic to make Shannon Brown handle the ball into sets. That will help slow tempo and take the Suns out of their offensive rhythm.
- Win Front Court Battle- Like in football, the battle is often won up front and the Suns are talented with Gortat, Beasley and Morris logging the most minutes. The Knicks have to be ready to close possessions, especially versus Beasley, who always plays his best games under the bright lights at MSG.