After almost snapping their dreaded losing streak Monday against the Cavs, the Knicks look to finally get back in the win column against Joel Embiid and the Sixers
Despite the New York Knicks (10-46) being more competitive recently, the losses have continued to pile up, as the tank gains more and more momentum each day. Mired in a seemingly never ending losing streak, New York looks to give the home crowd something to cheer about in a tough Eastern Conference matchup.
Fresh off a tough home loss to the short-handed Celtics, the Sixers come into this game angry and looking to prey on a horrible Knicks team. Outspoken big Joel Embiid was highly critical of the referees in last night’s post game press conference, saying they “f***ing suck.” Embiid and company will likely be out for blood, as the Sixers look to establish themselves as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia (36-21), boasts elite length at almost every position on the floor, and are the third-best defensive rebounding team in the NBA, per NBA Stats. They’re also ranked third in points per game—a very well-rounded team.
Philly recently made a huge trade deadline splash with the acquisition of Tobias Harris from the Clippers and now boasts arguably the best starting five in the NBA, aside from the Warriors. Harris (20.7 points per game) is a very smart player who brings much-needed three-point shooting and defensive toughness to a Sixers squad that lacked excellent wing play before.
Harris, along with sharpshooter J.J. Redick and Jimmy Butler, could doom the defensively deficient Knicks from the perimeter. The dominant, versatile Embiid and crafty Ben Simmons add a whole different dimension, making the Sixers such a complete team.
Knox vs. Sixers
In three career games against the Sixers, Kevin Knox has averaged an impressive 20.3 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game on nearly 46.9 percent shooting, per ESPN Stats. Although it is a very small sample size, Knox has demonstrated his ability to put up good numbers against a very solid team thus far. He needs to be a factor tonight if the Knicks want to be competitive.
The Rising Stars competitor has had a very up-and-down rookie season and is currently in a slump, shooting at a 33.3 percent clip in February while turning the ball over at a higher rate than any other month thus far, per ESPN Stats. Knox’s inconsistencies are to be expected, given that he is such a raw talent—but he can make a statement by finishing the first half of his rookie campaign strong tonight and tomorrow in Atlanta.
The 19-year-old has demonstrated increased confidence as the season has progressed, although the results haven’t always been there. Knox has developed his floater very well, and it’s become one of his signature moves. His floater will come in handy tonight against seven-plus-footers Embiid and Boban Marjanovic looming down low, ready to swat shots.
Knox + floater = 2 points. 🎁🎁 pic.twitter.com/TMwIPU6CvT
— KnicksPassion (@KnicksPassionFr) February 6, 2019
We see Knox’s floater on display in the above clip, recognizing the fact that Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are there to contest his shot. His development of the mid-range and floater game could help force defenders to give him space for his three-point shot.
G League Contributors
Recently, we’ve seen a few former Westchester Knicks promoted to the New York Knicks, and given the chance to see the floor and showcase their skills.
Kadeem Allen had a career night on Monday, putting up 25 points, and seems to be competent on the NBA level. G League All-Star John Jenkins is in the midst of a 10-day contract and played very efficiently in his Knicks’ debut, tallying seven points in nine minutes. In addition to Allen and Jenkins, Damyean Dotson, Isaiah Hicks, and Luke Kornet are also DubKnicks alum and have had the chance to play this year and have contributed in spots.
Keep an eye on the former DubKnicks tonight, as they could go a long way toward keeping the Knicks in the game.