To avenge last Sunday’s loss to the Cavs, Mike Woodson said the team had to win at least four out of five games on their current West Coast trip. In typical 2013-14 New York Knicks fashion, the they started it at 1-2. Things won’t get any easier tonight, as they head to Oakland for a matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
The Knicks have been getting killed from the three point line in their last two losses, allowing the Lakers and Suns to shoot a combined 52 percent from behind the arc. Most of those 32 total treys came without a hand in the defender’s face, which is totally unacceptable, even in the most basic of basketball levels. If the Knicks fail to defend the perimeter again tonight, things will be over quickly. Golden State puts up 103.4 points per game, good for the 10th most in the league, and does most of their damage from three. On the season, All-Star Stephen Curry has made 27 more threes than the next closest player, Damian Lillard, who has only eight more than Curry’s backcourt mate, Klay Thompson. The duo, known as the Splash Brothers, average a combined 5.9 threes per game,
The easiest way for the Knicks to slow down the Warriors offensively potent backcourt would be to stick Iman Shumpert on whoever is bringing the ball up the court. However, given Shump’s recent health struggles and general inconsistency, I won’t be holding my breath for this to happen. It would be nice for all the younger guys to get some extra run down the stretch (and yes, that includes Tour’e Murry), but since New York hasn’t been mathematically eliminated yet and Woodson is coaching for his future, I won’t be holding my breath for that to happen either. It’ll be easy breathing tonight.
For what it’s worth, the Hawks will be in Washington for a tough matchup with the Wizards. Atlanta is doing everything it can to give away the eight seed, but the Knicks can’t take advantage for the life of them. Still, a Hawks loss and Knicks win would cut New York’s deficit down to just one game. I’m still not holding my breath, but crazier things have happened. At this point, New York doesn’t really deserve a playoff spot, but I’m not sure if Atlanta does either. It’ll be interesting to see which team’s futility reigns supreme at the end of the season.
Tip-off is at 9:00 on Sunday, perfectly coinciding with the end of the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Tournament. Those who can never get enough basketball can tune in to the Knicks right after. As always, TOK will have you covered.