The New York Knicks(14-32) vs The Seattle Supersonics(11-35)
Fri. 2/2 at 10:00pm ET on MSG


Welcome to the MSGKnickz33 Pregame show, Im your host Jazzy Jeff and were here to take a look at Friday nights matchup. The Sonics have suprised everyone by winning 2 straight over the Spurs and the Cavs, the 2 teams that battled for the championship last year. Previous to that the Sonics had a 14 game losing streak. The Knicks lost their 4th straight game lasat night against the Portland Trail Blazers in overtime. The Knicks poor shooting finally caught up with them in overtimes as the Blazers were able to finish them off. They have now lost their first 4 of 5 games on this West coast trip.



STARTING LINEUPS

The Seattle Supersonics

pg-Earl Watson
sg-Kevin Durant
sf-Jeff Green
pf-Chris Wilcox
C-Kurt Thomas


AND NOW YOUR NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS!!!!

AT POINT GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD
AT SHOOTING GUARD FRED JONES
AT SMALL FORWARD QUENTIN RICHARDSON
AT POWER FORWARD ZACH RANDOLPH
AT CENTER EDDY CURRY


*Quentin Richardson and Eddy Curry are listed as day to day
*Wally Szczerbiak and Chris Wilcox are listed as day to day

MSG33 PresEnTs the KeY MatChuP: Kevin Durant vs Jamal Crawford






As everyone knows by now this is the toughest part of the game thread. Im considering Crawford as a shooting guard because of the minutes Nate Robinson gets off the bench. I probably should have went with Zach Randolph vs Chris Wilcox but I told TheKidd that I would have someone else besides Randolph in the Key Matchup. Durant as a rookie has a similar build to Crawford but hes already a better shooter.

Jamal Last 5 Games

46mpg
20ppg
33.6fg%
27% 3P
5.4apg
1.2topg
22 field goal attempts per game

Kevin Durant Last 5 Games

33.4mpg
22.2ppg
43.4fg%
8 3P%(1-12)
3.8rpg
3topg
1bpg
1.6spg

Some very ugly numbers for Crawford. Suprisingly his turnovers have been low. As much as Crawford sucks these numbers are not all his fault. Look at his minutes per game. I think its time his father Isiah lets his son rest and gives some minutes to Wilson Chandler. When a player is only shooting 33.6% on 22 field goal attempts per game its the coaches job to step in and do something about this.

Kevin Durant has been turnover prone and terrible from 3 point range but other then that his numbers look good. He is very elusive and at 6'9" he will be a tough cover. Balkman showed he can do a good job in the summer league games. Back on Dec. 12 Durant scored 30pts(11-20) while Balkman only played 5 minutes. Isiah needs to start taking notes.

The Official MSG33 Pregame Strategy:
  • Prepare for a battle down low!!!!! Sonics are the best rebounding team in the NBA(45rpg)
  • Be Aware!!!! Sonics average the 4th largest amount of turnovers per game in the league (15.95), Look for steals and sloppy play
  • Put Balkman on Kevin Durant
  • If Wally Szczerbiak plays, do not leave him open!!!



Player Spotlight



Mardy Collins has come up in recent discussions. Some still believe in him while others have given up on him.



Mardy Collins gives a good hard foul (no homo)

Collins played great at the end of last year. He was passing the ball, showing leadership, rebounding, and defenending well. This year he hasnt been able to get things going. Lets take a look at what hes done over the past 5 games:

Mardy Collins Last 5 Games

15.2mpg
2.6ppg
2.4rpg
2apg
28.6fg%

These numbers are ugly. Even if you double them hes still not productive. Does he need more consecutive minutes or did fans overrate him going into this season? Last year Mardy Collins averaged 15.1 minutes per game for the season. Lets see if his numbers were any better since the minutes are almost the same.

15.1mpg
4.5ppg
2rpg
1.6apg
38.2fg%

Somewhat better but to get a true understanding of what Mardy might be capable of you have to look at his numbers from last April.

44.1mpg
14.8ppg
6.7rpg
4.7apg
39.2fg%
2spg
4topg

He played very good defense as well last April. The turnovers were high but hes still only in his second year now. Does Mardy still deserve a chance with his weak statistics this year?


Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Celtics(36-8)
  2. Pistons(33-13)-4GB
  3. Magic(30-18)-8GB
  4. Cavs(25-20)-11.5GB
  5. Raptors(25-21)12GB
  6. Wizards(24-21)12.5GB
  7. Nets(20-26)17GB
  8. Hawks(18-24)17GB
  9. Pacers(19-28)18.5GB
  10. Bulls(18-27)18.5GB
  11. Bucks(18-29)19.5GB
  12. Bobcats(18-29)19.5GB
  13. 76ers(18-29)19.5GB
  14. Knicks(14-32)23GB
  15. Heat(9-36)27.5GB


The Official Playoff Race: Knicks are 6 games out


Lets compare numbers from the first 4 months of the NBA season.

November(5-11):Opponents Points per game=101.5
93.1ppg,43.4rpg,17apg,42.9fg%,32.2%3P,70.2FT%,6.9s pg,3.2bpg

December(3-11):Opponents Points per game=102.6
94.6ppg,41.3rpg,16.4apg,42.6fg%,33.1%3P,70.7FT%,6. 7spg,1.5bpg

January(6-10):Opponents Points per game=98.8
96.4ppg,40.4rpg,21.3apg,46.1fg%,35.2%3P,74.4FT%,5. 8spg,2.3bpg

February(0-1):Opponents Points per game=94
88ppg,55rpg,12apg,39.4fg%,11.8%3P,80FT%,3spg,4bpg

As we see the Knicks rebounds and free throw shooting is off to a good start for the month of February. Other then that they did a bad job of moving the ball against Seattle and scoring from the perimeter. At the end of the day the only thing that counts is that the Knicks are 0-1 so far in February and they are 14-32 on the season.

SuperSonics Top 3 Point shooters
  1. Szczerbiak-41.1%
  2. Watson-35.7%
  3. West-35.6%
  4. Wilkins-32.7%
  5. Durant-28%
  6. Ridnour-20%

Should not be too much to worry about here. Seattle is the 6th worst 3 point shooting team in the league.

If Wally Szczerbiak plays the Knicks need to stick to him like glue. Shooters have killed the Knicks all season long. I can see Wally going for 25 to 30 points. Kurt Thomas and his tough defense will slow down whoever plays center for the Knicks which could be Randolph, Curry, or Lee. Earl Watson is known as a tough point guard defensively. We'll see how he matches up with Nate/Crawford. Same goes for Delonte West, the former Celtic. Damien Wilkins is not what his father or uncle was but hes had a couple of big games this year so you can't forget about him.

You dont know what to expect from Chris Wilcox. On some nights he'll go for 20 points and 12 rebounds; other nights he disappears. He is more athletic then Zach Randolph but Zachs the more skilled of the 2. This might be a good matchup to watch. Nick Collison is a serviceable bigman averaging similar numbers to David Lee. Jeff Green is an explosive rookie who will dunk on you if your in his way. He has no perimeter game but he has a good shoots well (43.4fg%). Johan Petro is a good shotblocker and Luke Ridnour is a good passer.



Throwback HipHop Video of the Day:

Artist:Eric B. and Rakim
Title:As the Rhyme Goes On
Album:Paid in Full
Year:1987



That does it for my pregame show. I thank everyone for joining me and remember to tune in Saturday night to catch the Knicks and the Sonics.