Opponent Scouting: New York Knicks. (7-14)
Tonight at 7:00pm EST the Pistons will host the New York Knicks at the LCA. Both teams are on a single day of rest and coming off of victories.
The Knicks are bad, but they are just normal bad. They come into the game with the 21st offensive efficiency in the NBA and the 26th defense, and 26th net rating at -4.6 points per 100 possessions. Once again, they are bad, but there is some amount of competence.
A lot of that competence comes in the form of Tim Hardaway Jr. who has made at least some good on the absurd contract he got. Hardaway is currently scoring 23.3 points per game on a true shooting percentage of 55.4%. He is unquestionably a good stats-bad team guy but still, he can score. Enes Kanter is still in New York, he’s big, can score, and rebounds really well. Noah Vonleh may be saving his career by showing at least some pulse as a stretch 4.
French sensation Frank Ntlikina has been terrible, he can still defend at a high level for someone his age, but it is probably safe to say that he doesn’t do a single thing on offense at even a mediocre level. Alonzo Trier can shoot, Trey Burke can score in bunches with step-back jumpers, Emmanuel Mudiay is still big, strong, and athletic and also not very good. Mario Hezonja has done little to build on last seasons success in Orlando and looks like he’s gone backwards. Kevin Knox has been bad because he’s super young and that’s what happens.
This team is very bad. They mostly play hard and if you catch them on the wrong night they can score enough to give teams trouble, but they are not good.
Matchups to watch:
Knicks vs Blake Griffin: The Knicks have no one for Blake. Blake should either run rampant or draw constant double-teams which should allow others to run rampant.
Pistons vs Focus: The Pistons have made their money this season by taking care of business. They need to continue to beat the teams that are inferior and the Knicks count. Especially considering that with the Bulls being their next game there is a great chance to get a streak going.
Andre Drummond vs Enes Kanter: Kanter is a tenacious enough rebounder to make Drummond work and Drummond will have to do some individual defense. The Knick’s most realistic chance in this game is probably to get Drummond in early foul trouble.
The Reggie Bullock Revival: He’s up to nearly 38% from deep, he should have a few more games of straight flame-torch shooting. This would make me happy.
Pistons vs Tim Hardaway: Pretty obvious. Hardaway is the offensive threat on this Knicks team, if the Pistons can keep him in check then there isn’t much offensive fire-power.
So in conclusion…
Wink knowingly at your friends if:
Blake Griffin is doing whatever he wants.
Andre doesn’t do anything stupid against Enes Kanter.
Tim Hardaway isn’t scoring much.
Run for the hills if:
Drummond picks up two fouls in the first two minutes.
Tim Hardaway (or Trey Burke) suddenly start canning jumpers.
The Pistons look slow/disinterested.
Opportunities for me to look stupid:
Andre Drummond 20/20
The Knicks try to double team Blake and he still scores many points.
The Pistons dominate from whistle to whistle.
Pistons 109 - Knicks 90.