New York Knicks-New Orleans Pelicans Preview: Slowing Down Anthony Davis
Dec 30, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the fourth quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Knicks 104-92. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks and their pathetic defense will attempt to slow down New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis on Monday night.

  • New York Knicks (17-20)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (14-24)
  • NBA, Monday, Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG Network
  • Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York

The last time Anthony Davis visited Madison Square Garden, he scored 36 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots in a dominant performance. The New York Knicks still managed to escape with a 97-85 win because only two other Pelicans scored in double-digits.

Scoring, outside of Davis, is still a problem in New Orleans. The Pels are ranked 27th in points per 100 possessions.

According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, Davis is responsible for nearly half (5.3) of the Pelican’s current 14 wins. If you can slow down their franchise player, it’s an easy win. Easier said than done.

Davis will be matched up with Joakim Noah. He had his way with the $72 million center the first time these two teams met less than two weeks ago in New Orleans.

The Knicks lost 104-92 when they couldn’t stop the All-Star forward as he dropped 23 points and dominated the glass with 18 rebounds.

Just watch how easy these two buckets were as Noah attempted to check Davis one on one.

Davis faces up on Noah and gives him a jab step to create some space before driving into the lane for a tough floater.

Noah trying to guard Davis on the pick and roll. Didn’t turn out well. Easy layup.

On a basic BLOB set, Noah couldn’t fight through a “screen” from E’Twaun Moore.

Slowing down Davis with Noah guarding him is impossible. Head coach Jeff Hornacek should consider Kristaps Porzingis for the job.

It’s unusual for the top players to guard each other, but Porzingis is New York’s best defender, and he did a solid job Friday night against Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Matchup To Watch

Derrick Rose vs. Jrue Holiday

Holiday won the first matchup between the two teams. The Pelicans point guard scored 12 points on an efficient 5-10 from the field and dished out 11 assists.

Rose scored 20 points but needed 21 shots to do it. He only converted on nine of those attempts and had just one assist to four turnovers.

Key Stat

Free throws

The Knicks are 23rd in personal fouls (21.1) and 26th in opponent’s free throw rate (how often the opponent gets to the line and how often they make them) at .231.

The Pelicans have five rotation players who shoot 75 percent or above from the line. The Knicks will need to play smart defense.

 

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