Friday, November 9, 2012

What to Watch For: Dallas Mavericks vs. New York Knicks November 9

Friday, November 09, 2012
Pre-Game News and Notes
Dallas Mavericks vs. New York Knicks
The Knicks look to continue their hot start to the season against a banged up Dallas Mavericks team that will be without stalwarts Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion.  This will be a good test for the Knicks, as the Mavericks are off to just as hot a start at 4-1 even without their star player.  The Knicks have had plenty of time to prepare for the Mavericks since they were off since Monday so they should come out ready to go.

-3 Point Shootout

The Knicks set a record for three pointers made through the first three games in a season, going 43 for 95, but the Mavericks are no slouches behind the arc.  The Mavericks are the hottest team in the NBA from behind the arc, going 50 for 103 thus far in the season.  O.J. Mayo leads the NBA with 21 makes on the season.

Darren Collison has been a big reason for the success from deep for the Mavericks, as he has excelled in the pick-and-roll game and has the ball movement at a premium in Dallas.  Collison was the response move to Jason Kidd joining the Knicks.

Another reason for the success from deep is the post play of Vince Carter, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand.  They are all willing passers and can find the open man on the perimeter when they are double teamed in the post.

-Defend the Paint

As stated, the Mavericks run a deep rotation up front with Kaman, Brand and Brandon Wright.  The Mavericks are dangerous team in the paint and the Knicks will need to lock that down for the victory tonight.
The Mavericks run their offense through pick-and-roll with deadly shooting from deep; taking out the big men would go a long way in winning tonight for the Knicks.  The Mavericks will be without top rebounder Marion, so the Knicks need to take advantage and control the boards.  Winning the battle on the boards is a formula to winning.

This should all be easier with the expected season debut of Marcus Camby.  Camby gives the Knicks a legitimate center on the second unit and someone to do everything that Tyson Chandler does in the starting unit.  Camby is an upgrade over any option the Knicks had last season and in recent memory.
Camby’s playing time will be dictated by how much Kaman is on the court, as the Mavericks have been using a small-ball lineup much like the Knicks recently, putting more of an emphasis on guard and wing play.

-O.J. Mayo vs. J.R. Smith

Mayo starts for the Mavericks and J.R. Smith is the Knicks sixth man, but they will undoubtedly be matched up throughout the game together.  Right now, Mayo and Smith are two of the most efficient players in the NBA and have numbers very similar, as Mayo is shooting 63.6 percent from deep and Smith is shooting 61.5 and both players are turning the ball over less than two times per game.

Smith has been getting at it on the defensive end this season, evident from the 1.7 steals he is averaging per game so this is the match-up to keep an eye on throughout the game.  It will be two electrifying players opposing each other.

-Get Off to Hot Start

The Knicks have had a long lay-off not playing since Monday night, so a lackluster start could be in the cards.  That is something the Knicks need to avoid though, as the crowd will be raucous and ready to watch their Knicks take the court again.  Slow starts was the norm last year for the Knicks, but so far this season they have led at the end of the first quarter in every game, a trend that would be a welcome site to see, especially at home; once you have the crowd going behind you it makes it that much more difficult for the road team.

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