The Phoenix Suns finish their road-trip in NYC against the Knicks, who have miraculously won four games in a row, including against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. Even after all these wins, the Knicks are still only 14-22.
In order to bring a victory home to Phoenix and finish 2-3 on the brutally long road-trip in the freezing, cold north, the Suns will need to play some fundamentally sound basketball. They are going to have to be efficient and will need some good production from the bench in order to win this game.
Carmelo Anthony versus P.J. Tucker. A major factor in determining the winner of the game, will be whether Tucker can keep Anthony shooting contested long-twos. Another prerequisite is that Carmelo isn’t on fire, draining shots from all over the court. Anthony is averaging just more than 26 points per game. Tucker is probably going to have to keep that around 21 or so if Phoenix is going to win.
What the Suns offense needs to focus on:
Get out in transition, get some points on the board. The Knicks are 26th in the league in scoring at only 95.3 points per game. Plumlee is going to have to take advantage of Andrea Bargnani down low, and the Suns could have some offensive rebounding opportunities as New York is second-worst rebounding team in the NBA.
What the Suns defense needs to watch out for:
Phoenix seems to have the tendency to let role players really go off on them. They will need to watch out for J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire coming off the bench. They are going to have to contest every shot and stave off dribble penetration from Raymond Felton.
Suns win 95-85