Knicks Square Off Against Suns in Friday Night Battle at MSG
1. The Knicks have won three of four games heading into tonight’s matchup against the Suns. After falling in its first three outings, New York bounced back in a major way with a dominant win over Brooklyn, an improbable victory past the defending Eastern Conference champs in Cleveland, and Monday’s win against the up-and-coming Denver Nuggets. During the recent 3-1 stretch, the Knicks are shooting 38.1 percent from downtown and posting 108.5 points per game.
2. New York ranks in the top ten in rebounding and No. 5 overall in offensive rebounding this year. The combination of Enes Kanter, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle O’Quinn in the frontcourt has provided the Knicks with a prolific rebounding group in the paint. These three players account for 24.7 rebounds per game and Kanter ranks No. 6 in the league in offensive rebounds. The production on the glass has led to New York claiming the top spot in second chance points, where it generates 17.6 points per game.
3. Porzingis (illness) did not practice on Thursday afternoon. The big man is listed as questionable for the contest against Phoenix but is expected to suit up. Through seven games, Porzingis is averaging 27.9 points per game, which is third-best in the league behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and DeMarcus Cousins. Porzingis has increased his points per game average by nine in just one more minute per game this season. The 22-year old is also providing an impact on the defensive side of the floor by ranking in the top ten in blocks per game.
4. Damyean Dotson received some valuable court time on Wednesday night against the Rockets. The Knicks second-round pick scored nine points, hit 4-of-5 from the floor, and grabbed three rebounds in 17 minutes of work.
5. Phoenix dropped its first 3 games of the season and decided to make a change on the sidelines. Interim head coach Jay Triano took the reins after the Suns front office fired Earl Watson on October 22. Phoenix instantly responded to the new voice in the locker room and the team has won four of its last five games. Offensively, the Suns rank No. 9 in points per game (107.4) and a +5.8 net rating since Triano became the interim head coach. Phoenix features some high-powered offensive weapons, especially shooting guard Devin Booker, who is averaging 22.1 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the 3-point line. Additionally, T.J. Warren is starting to find his role on the squad as seen in the 40-point outburst in the win over the Wizards on Wednesday night.