The Knicks play another lowly team, the Mavericks, in a Dallas matchup. How will they fare against Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, and the Mavs?
In a tightly contested battle, the New York Knicks were defeated by the Indiana Pacers 107-101 on Wednesday night. The Knicks (2-6) now face off against a Western Conference foe in the Dallas Mavericks (2-6).
The Mavericks are starting out slowly this season. Coming off a five-game losing streak, the Dallas is glad to be playing back at home, as it has lost their last 10 road games dating back to last year.
On the road, the Knicks have not had any success either, dropping all three of their games away from the Garden. Just 2-6 on the season, New York has had several close games against playoff-ready teams, such as Boston, Milwaukee, and Indiana. The Knicks look to get their first road win of the season against Luka Doncic, Dennis Smith Jr., and the rest of the Mavericks.
Here’s what you need to know prior to the game tonight.
Perimeter Scoring vs. Dallas
The Mavericks’ opponents are red-hot from beyond the arc, shooting 49.4 percent on 36.4 attempts per game, which is the worst opposing three-point percentage in the NBA.
Tim Hardaway Jr. should have fun playing against the Mavericks. Against the Pacers, Timmy went off, scoring a season-high 37 points and hitting seven of his 11 three-point attempts. Hardaway is also the first Knick to score at least 24 points in seven of the team’s first eight games since Patrick Ewing did so in the 1990–91 season, per the team.
#8 vs. #9
Dating back to what feels like an eternity ago, the Phil Jackson-led Knicks selected Frank Ntilikina (no. 8 overall) over Dennis Smith Jr. (no. 9 overall).
During their sophomore seasons, Ntilikina and Smith Jr. have developed finely into their own respective players. Thus far this season, Smith Jr. is averaging 15.6 points and 4.3 assists per game while hitting on 43.1 percent of his shots (31 percent from deep)
Ntilikina, on the other hand, is still refining his offensive approach to the game. Defensively, the French Prince has flourished into an anchor of sorts for this team—oftentimes guarding multiple positions.
DSJ, who stands at 6-foot-3, will be guarded by the 6-foot-6 Ntilikina in what should be a very fun matchup.
Halloween is over, but Luka Doncic is still spooky
There are two players on this Knicks roster who I’d feel confident in guarding Luka Doncic: Frank Ntilikina and Lance Thomas.
While the Knicks are a switch-heavy defense, guarding the versatile Doncic will prove to be a test for the youngest team in the NBA. Through eight games, Doncic leads Dallas with 19.6 points on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from deep, while also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
In tandem with DeAndre Jordan, Doncic has led a dominant pick-and-roll duo that could cause issues for the Knicks. Lob City has relocated to Dallas, where Mitchell Robinson will be tasked with guarding and stopping Jordan from having dominant night.
- Kevin Knox: Knox is still out due to an ankle injury that he suffered against the Celtics. He is making progress and is targeting Monday as his first game back, per the NY Post.
- Courtney Lee: Lee has yet to appear in a game due to a neck injury. The team has provided no information regarding his injury or the timetable for his return.