New York Knicks (22-20, 12-11 road) vs. OKC Thunder (27-15, 15-6 home)
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.0 (6th), Knicks – 109.5 (9th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 108.4 (17th), Knicks – 109.2 (23rd)
Pace: Thunder – 93.2 (12th), Knicks – 96.8 (2nd)
View from the enemy: Knickerblogger
The first meeting, the Knicks beat up the Thunder by just outrunning and outexecuting them in New York. And they’re going to try and do the same tonight. The Knicks have shooters, have an inside presence and have the players the give the Thunder problems. Oklahoma City needs to get back to winning too. Dropping three straight doesn’t sound like a fun thing.
New York coming in: The Knicks have dropped five straight and took a loss in San Antonio to the Spurs last night.
The Knicks are just a horrible matchup for the Thunder. Horrible. First, they have Amar’e Stoudemire inside and Oklahoma City has no one that matches up well with him. Second, they shoot really well from the outside. So if you’re scoring at home, those are the top two things the Thunder doesn’t do well and those are the top two things the Knicks do well. Eek.
However, the Knicks aren’t a good defensive team by any stretch, so there is a strong possibility the Thunder can just outscore them. I think that was the plan in New York when the teams first met but the Thunder was coming of a game the night before and just couldn’t keep up. I’m not saying it’s a good gameplan by any means, but I think it’s what OKC will try and do.
Raymond Felton has been terrific this season so a big key will be Russell Westbrook disrupting the pick-and-roll. I would actually like to see Nick Collison more tonight because he plays the pick-and-roll so well and that’s what New York prefers.
Wilson Chandler was the difference maker in the first game, hitting shots and scoring in bunches in transition. Kevin Durant will need to defend him but also KD has got to score the ball better than he did in Denver.
The glass will be important as Stoudemire is big but also guys like Ronny Turiaf and Landry Fields get on the boards and scrap for rebounds.
The last time the Thunder played the Knicks, they were coming in on a losing streak. Tonight, the Knicks have lost five straight coming in. The game is in OKC though, so let’s hope that makes a difference because the Thunder needs to get back on track.
Tip at 7:00 CT. Go Bricktown Thunder.