Just what is a Knickerbocker, anyways?

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Published: January 12, 2009

Matchup: Knicks(13-22) @ Hornets(22-11)

Off Efficiency: Knicks 101.9(21st), Hornets 106.8(8th)
Def Efficiency: Knicks 106.7(24th), Hornets 102.9(11th)

A coaches system can generate shots, but players have to hit them.  Mike D’Antoni has implemented his Suns-style offense in New York, and the team is doing what is asked of them, averaging more than 100 posessions per game and letting fly at the first open shot.  The result is that the Knicks score more than one hundred points per game, and a bunch of lame basketball writers have been fooled into thinking that the Knick’s problem isn’t their offense.  Sorry, it is.  Sure, their defense is just as terrible, but their offense is pathetic.  Of the five players on their team that take the most shots, four of them are bad shooters.  The team as a whole shoots a well-below average 43%, and a below average 35% from three.  The only player on the team who is at all efficient is David Lee – and of course, he’s surrounded by trade rumors.  Makes sense.

They’ve lost their last three games, including a bad loss to OKC, and have gone only 2-8 over their last ten, after starting the season 11-13.  They aren’t as bad as the Clippers, but they aren’t far from it.

Injuries

Knicks:  Eddy Curry is injured.  Of course, it doesn’t matter because no one would play him anyways.
Hornets: None

Positional Analysis

PG: Chris Duhon v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Duhon is able to showcase his best attributes in D’Antoni’s system: passing and deep shooting.  His numbers are up a lot this year, but he’s still a bad scorer inside the arc, and turnover prone.  I predict at least four steals for Paul.

SG: Quentin Richardson v Rasual Butler
Advantage: Hornets
Once reputed to be a great shooter, Richardson is only managing 33% from deep this season.  He can rebound a little bit, but all he’s asked on the offensive end is to hit spot up jumpers, and he can’t.  Rasual Butler can.  And he can defend.  Butler with a clear edge.

SF: Wilson Chandler v Peja Stojakovic
Advantage: Hornets
Yes, Wilson Chandler has been talked up as a breakout player for the Knicks.  You have to put it in context.  He’s scoring 14.6 points on 13.3 shots.  He shoots poorly inside the arc(42%) and worse outside the arc(29%).  In 33 minutes he managed 5 rebounds.  He doesn’t manage a steal or block a game.  I’d take Peja, even if he’s still struggling.

PF: David Lee v David West
Advantage: Hornets
Lee is a hustler who can finish inside and rebound with the best of them.  Fluffy is anything but a hustler, but he’ll bury him in jumpshots and is good at defending players his own size in the post.

C
: Jared Jeffries v Tyson Chandler.
Advantage: Hornets
The Knicks are trying their own beanpole at the center position.  Unfortunately, their beanpole has never been able to rebound anywhere he’s played.  Tyson has shown it in the past, and I have a feeling he’ll be showing it in this game.

Bench
Advantage: Hornets
Al Harrington, Nate Robinson, and Tim Thomas all let fly with impunity. Harrington and Robinson usually play long minutes.  None of them are particularly efficient at scoring however.  Contest them enough to keep them from getting blazing hot, and this trio will be easily put under wraps.  Daniels, Posey and Armstrong can handle them with little difficulty.

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