After having two days off, the New York Knicks are set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are 0-1 and the 76ers are 1-0.
The 76ers are coming off of a home victory against the Washington Wizards where they won 113-107. Joel Embiid led the team in scoring with 29 points and also secured 14 rebounds. Ben Simmons concluded the game with 16 points, three blocks, seven assists, and nine rebounds. It seems as though Simmons and Embiid are continuing to mesh.
Philadelphia also hired Doc Rivers in the offseason to coach up the team. So far, that has paid off. They’ve even surrounded Simmons and Embiid with strong support in the likes of Dwight Howard, Seth Curry, and Danny Green.
New York Knicks
The Knicks are coming off of a disappointing 121-107 loss to the Indiana Pacers. This game was simply a tale of two halves. Amidst some defensive struggles, the shooting looked superb in the first half, especially from downtown. In the second half, the shooting went cold. There were some key factors that gave the Knicks the loss.
On the good side, RJ Barrett ended the game with 26 points, scoring 20 in the first half. His stagnant second half was due to a lack of ball possession. Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton continued their ball hogging and icing of a red-hot Barrett.
Rookie point guard Immanuel Quickley also went down with a hip flexor injury that might cause him to be out for a few games. When the offense was run by Quickley, the pace was rapid and the shooting and spacing were more efficient. With Elfrid Payton running the offense, the pace was slow and Payton played like a stat-padder, often waiting till the final seconds on the shot clock to pass the basketball and try to get assists.
The Knicks even ran Alec Burks at the one and that didn’t work out. Although, Burks did have a good night, scoring 22 points while hitting two of four shots from downtown. The former 76er seems like a steal for the Knicks.
Another thing I can take away is Mitchell Robinson was completely roasted in the post by Domantas Sabonis. When Robinson was on him, Sabonis made three shots on four attempts. Not only that, his post fake caught Robinson off guard a few times and even landed him at the free-throw line. Robinson has an even tougher assignment tonight, facing one of the best centers in Joel Embiid.
Knicks Injury Report:
DOUBTFUL: Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin
To win, the Knicks will have to be more consistent offensively and defensively. The pace of the offense needs to be faster and the spacing needs to be better.