Friday, March 29, 2013

W2W4: Charlotte Bobcats vs. New York Knicks

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Pre-Game News and Notes

Charlotte Bobcats vs. New York Knicks

The Knicks enter Friday night’s game looking to extend their six game winning streak against the lowly Bobcats.  To put into perspective just how poor the Bobcats have been, the Heat’s 27-game win streak that was snapped earlier in the week is more wins than the Bobcats have had since last season combined.  This is a game the Knicks cannot lose as the Bobcats are an awful road team, losing their last eight games on the road by an average of 23.1 points per game.  Here are some things to watch for tonight.

-Can J.R. Continue His Streak?

J.R. Smith is in the midst of the best played basketball of his career, scoring 30 points in back-o-back times for the first time in his career.  It is also the first time a bench played has done that since 2010 when Al Harrington accomplished the feat.  Smith has been super-efficient over the time as well, shooting 50 percent or better in five games in a row.

The biggest reason for Smith’s success has been his constant attacking of the rim.  This has resulted in a 53.6 percent shooting and 7.6 free throw attempts per game.  When Smith attacks the rim the Knicks are a much more dangerous team. 

Smith has also been aggressive on the glass, averaging 6.2 rebounds over that span; it is not the biggest number but for a guard is very good especially with the Knicks missing Tyson Chandler for the past eight games.  This new aggressive Smith has given the Knicks an efficient scorer during this streak to go with the volume shooting of Carmelo Anthony.

-Can Carmelo Turn it Around?

As Smith has been super efficient the last few games, Carmelo Anthony has seen his plummet.  In his last two games, Anthony has gone 18 of 50 from the field, equaling a lousy and inefficient 36 percent from the field. 

Where Anthony has been struggling is with his jump shot, as his three point shooting percentage has continued to drop as the season went along.  In his last two games Anthony has gone only two of 10 from the three point line and in his last game it doesn’t get much better has he is only shooting 26.9 percent from the three point line in his last five games.

Anthony should take the Smith approach and attack the basket as there are not many people who can stop him in the post.  He is also very good on second and third attempts at the rim, resulting in easy baskets and free throw attempts.

There are not many teams in the NBA worse than the Bobcats so it would be nice to see Anthony take a different approach in the game tonight and attack the basket and let the jump shots come after that.

-Don’t Take Them Easy

The Knicks should look to take advantage of their strengths early and often in the game and get off to a fast start against the lowly Bobcats.  The Knicks haven’t had the strongest of first quarters in their last few games and it would be nice to see them get off to a hot start and put the Bobcats away early.

Also, if they allow a poor playing, young team hungry for a win to stick around too long it could result in being a dog fight for the Knicks in a game that they should win easily. 

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