The New York Knicks(18-39) vs The Atlanta Hawks(23-32)
Fri. 2/29 at 7:30pm ET on MSG
Welcome to the MSGKnickz33 Pregame show, Im your host Jazzy Jeff and its time to break down Friday nights game against the Hawks. The Knicks have won 4 out of their last 10 games, including a 24 point win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. Jamal Crawford played well, scoring 20 points (7-13). He made some nice passes, had some nice crossovers, and played only 33 minutes, finally gettin some rest. This Knicks team has talent, but they rarely decide to play as a team.
The Atlanta Hawks are sinking, winning only 2 out of their last 10 games. They are one game out of the 8th spot, behind the New Jersey Nets. Analysts and Knicksonline posters have predicted the Hawks will finally be a playoff team (Including myself and Charles Barkley). The recent acquisition of Mike Bibby should make it a guarentee, despite the recent slide. Bibby had a huge game against his former team, the Kings, on Wednesday night scoring 24 points. He also dished out 12 assists and snatched 5 rebounds.
The Atlanta Hawks
*Marvin Williams is listed as day-to-day
AND NOW YOUR NEW YORK KNICKS!!!!
AT POINT GUARD NATE ROBINSON
AT SHOOTING GUARD JAMAL CRAWFORD
AT SMALL FORWARD QUENTIN RICHARDSON
AT POWER FORWARD ZACH RANDOLPH
AT CENTER EDDY CURRY
MSG33 PresEnTs the KeY MatChuP:Joe Johnson vs Jamal Crawford
Yes, Crawford deserves credit for his offensive officiency over the last 5 games. His turnovers are high and his defense is terrible, but on offense he has been gettin the job done. Lets take a look at his numbers from the 5 most recent games:
Even the shooting percentages are good this time. I would still like to see the 3PT% higher, but the fg% is as high as it will get when your talkin about Crawford. Thats a good percentage for any shooting guard.
8.4 field goals made per game 18 field goals attempted per game
3.4 3PT made per game 9.4 3PT attempted per game
One last quick note, Crawford has attempted 47 3pointers and 25 freethrows over the last 5 games. He has hit 23 out of 25 free throws.
While Joe Johnson needs to cut back on the turnovers, the rest of his numbers would be welcomed on the Knicks. He does an excellent job of gettin his teammates involved, rebounding, and scoring. Crawford cannot guard Joe Johnson, but can Joe Johnson guard Crawford? Its not really a matter of an opponent stopping Crawford, Crawford stops himself by not going to the basket enough and having a poor shot selection.
Look to establish either Curry or Randolph early in the game
If Josh Smith is too elusive for Q-Rich, bring Balkman off the bench
Dont forget they have Mike Bibby now
Quentin Richardson slowly continues to get better and better. Known for not backing down, Q has had the right mentality this year. Hes been a step slow but his dunk against the Bobcats on Wednesday was a good sign as he went up strong.
Quentin Richardson-February Stats
Over the last 5 games, hes averaging 11 points per game. The Knicks as a team are in desperate need of defense. Earlier in the season Q was too slow to play and defense and he couldnt make a shot. Now hes shootin better and playing more defense. He's still not the player from last year, but its good to see him contributing again.
Eastern Conference Standings
The Official Playoff Race: Knicks are 7 games out
The Magic have held down the #3 spot for a while, keeping the distance between 8 and 9 games
The 76ers have climbed to the #7 spot, many thought they would be the only bad team in the Eastern Conference
The Knicks Suck
The Bulls suck
Lets look at what is the opposite of the standings, the race for the worst record in the league. Suprisingly the Knicks managed to somehow be in the hunt for both the #8 spot in the playoffs and the worst record in the league. One outcome is much more likely then the other.
The Knicks are 7 Games away from having the #8 spot in the playoffs, and 6.5 games away from having the worst record.
The 76ers and Nets are currently 7th and 8th in the East, but both of them are in the lottery having the 12th and 13th worst records. Has this ever happened before?
Out of the 14 teams with the worst records, 9 of them are Eastern Conference teams.
Lets compare numbers from the first 4 months of the NBA season.
November(5-11):Opponents Points per game=101.5
December(3-11):Opponents Points per game=102.6
January(6-10):Opponents Points per game=98.8
February(4-8):Opponents Points per game=101.75
What stands out to me is that Marcus Camby is almost blocking 4 shots a game while the Knicks are averaging only 2.5 blocks per game for the month of February. In December, the Knciks only blocked 1.5 shots per game.
Hawks Top 3 Point shooters
Tyronn Lue only plays 17 minutes per game, so hopefully he doesnt have enough time to cause alot of damage from the perimeter against the Knicks. His numbers will drop with the acquisition of Mike Bibby. The Knicks will have problems defendin Joe Johnson, not just from 3 point range.
Josh Smith is an extremely athletic young player who can give Q-Rich alot of problems. The Knicks mite look to go to Balkman, but Smith is stronger, taller, and even more athletic then Balkman. The Hawks should be a lock for the playoffs with Mike Bibby, they have good players at every position and there bench isnt too bad.
Rookie Al Horford has been a force down low, .7 points away from averaging a double double. Hes also blockin 1 shot a game, not to far behind the entire Knicks team. Smith is blocking an impressive 3.11 shots per game, thats more then the entire Knicks team. Marvin Williams is a solid all around player, who can give the Knicks matchup problems if he plays. Williams is built like a sf but the Hawks play small ball, because of their athleticism. They will be one of the funnest teams to watch for a long time.
Josh childress is a 6'8" 210 pound small forward, who can also play the guard positions. Hes an efficient scorer who also hellps out on the boards. The Knicks will have their hands full with the athletic, versatile Hawks who are better then their record indicates.
Throwback HipHop Video of the Day:
Original Release Date: April 26, 1994
Knicks upcoming Schedule:
Fri, Feb 29 @ Atlanta 7:30 pm ET
Sat, Mar 1 @ Orlando 7:00 pm ET
Mon, Mar 3 vs New Orleans 7:30 pm ET
Wed, Mar 5 vs Cleveland 7:30 pm ET
Fri, Mar 7 vs Detroit 7:30 pm ET
Sat, Mar 8 vs Portland 7:30 pm ET
That does it for my pregame show. I thank everyone for joining me and remember to tune in Friday night to catch the Knicks and the Hawks.
Last edited by MSGKnickz33; Feb 28, 2008 at 16:33.