Posted by: C. Smith
02/04/11 4:39 pm EST
This Friday edition of “Fo’ with the Foes” — Philadunkia’s advanced scouting series which with the help of an accomplished journalist from around the NBA beat or blog world, previews upcoming 76ers opponents — features tonight’s foes, the New York Knickerbockers.
Despite the fact that the Knicks sit 3 games ahead of the 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings, we really, really like the Sixers chances of pulling out a W at home tonight. Let’s forget for a second that the Knicks have lost 8 of their last 11 and 5 straight on the road. Then put aside the idea that the Sixers beat the Knicks in NYC back in early November when the Sixers were a mess and in the midst of a 3-13 start. Also block out of your mind that Vegas has installed the Sixers as a four point favorite in this contest. Those are the obvious reasons we like the Sixers to notch one in the win column tonight.
The “in-depth” reasons we really like the Sixers chances of securing another home win tonight is because of the significant matchup problems the 7-6 will present for the NYK’s defense. The Sixers’ roster is simply filled with players that on paper should give the Knicks defenders fits all over the floor. Who on the Knicks is going to guard Holiday? Who’s going to bang with EB? What Knick can handle covering ‘Dre for the majority of the night? And those are just the matchup issues the Knicks will have with Sixers first-five.
When Collins goes to his bench, is there a Knick guard that is nearly as fast as Louis? What about Thad? Which Knick 3 or 4 man will deal with the responsibility of defending his scoring from the wing? Hell, even Speights appears to provide some defensive assignment issues for the Knicks.
Even though the Sixers should score at will tonight, we’re not predicting a cake walk for the 7-6. Obviously, Amare provides a glaring mismatch for the Sixers bigs. So Amare will get his tonight. That won’t be fun to watch and it should be enough to keep the Knicks within shouting distance. However, unless he hits for 50 + down at the WFC, we don’t think his scoring can carry the Knicks to a win.
Don’t try and convince us that onight the Knicks are going to successfully get out and run on the Sixers either. As we have seen this season, the Sixers can go up and down the floor with any team in the League. The difference is we also sprinkle in a solid defensive game whereas the Knicks do not (giving up 106 ppg. — 4th worst in the League).
For a little more insight into the Grizzlies team the Sixers face tonight, we turn to our man Mike Kurylo from KnickerBlogger.net to answer two questions on the Knicks from us here at Philadunkia as well as provide us with two points of analysis on this New York squad from an insider’s perspective.