AP Photo
AP Photo

A game that before the season started would have hardly sparked an interest on the NBA schedule now pits an up and coming Knicks team against an underachieving Thunder squad in Oklahoma City tonight.

 

The Knicks are sitting at 6-6 so far this season. They are on pace to crush their 17 wins from last year. The fortunate part for this team is that they are not even at the peak of how they could potentially play. They are by no means causing an eruption offensively for their opponents as they are ranked 22nd in the league in points per game. It is what they are doing defensively thus far that has them at .500. They are tied for 8th in the league with their opponents averaging 98.2 points per game. They also are tied for 8th in the rebound category, but the key has been their 12.3 offensive rebounds per game which ranks 4th in the league. The part that leaves something to be desired by the Knicks is their assists per game. They rank 22nd in the league for assists and Carmelo leads the way with just under four per game. They counter it however with the third fewest turnovers per game ranking in the league at around 19 per game. They will need to put all of these pieces together tonight and get some solid defense out of their guards if they want to shut down the Thunder.

 

Oklahoma City may have a problem with all of the rebounds the Knicks get, if they weren’t the top rebounding team in the league right now. They are ranked 2nd in offensive rebounds and 7th defensively. Their downfall has been turnovers. These are mainly attributed to their star guard Russell Westbrook who has a tendency to get wild when he is in the “zone”. They turn the ball over around 17 times per game, which is ranked second to last in the league. They also for under 14 turnovers by their opponents. The Thunder run the most efficient in a fast paced offense when they can tire out their opponents and score big. This hurts them at the same time causing some lackluster defense that results in their opponents averaging over 105 points per game. They will need to find a balance tonight if they want to keep the ship right and the critics off their back.

 

My Prediction: This game will come down to how the Knicks control the ball when they have it. If they use the shot clock to their advantage and slow down the pace of the game, they can frustrate this Thunder team. When frustrated the Thunder get out of rhythm and tend to get in foul trouble. However, the Knicks also need to have an answer for Westbrook if they can’t slow the pace.

 

Oklahoma City 102- New York 99

 

 

Malachi DavidNBANew York KnicksOklahoma City ThunderRecent PostsCarmelo Anthony,Russell WestbrookA game that before the season started would have hardly sparked an interest on the NBA schedule now pits an up and coming Knicks team against an underachieving Thunder squad in Oklahoma City tonight.   The Knicks are sitting at 6-6 so far this season. They are on pace to crush their...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?