Knicks vs. Pistons – Madison Square Garden
When: Sunday | 1:00 PM
Where to Watch: MSG Networks
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York: While it’s no time to hit the panic button, the Knicks are certainly taking their recent losses seriously. New York suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season and for the first time in the regular season under head coach Mike Woodson. The team is in the midst of a grueling part of the schedule, playing the last six of seven games on the road. At 8-3, the Knicks are still the top squad in the Atlantic Division and tied in the loss column with the now conference leading Miami Heat. One injury concern for New York heading into the contest against the Pistons is Rasheed Wallace’s sore foot. The forward / center was sidelined in Houston and his status is unclear for the Sunday matinee at the Garden.
Detroit: The rebuilding effort continues in Motown as the Pistons look to surround Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe with the necessary talent to find a spot in the postseason again. Detroit shipped Ben Gordon out to Charlotte for Corey Maggette and the team drafted Connecticut big man Andre Drummond to go along with 2011 former Duke all-purpose man Kyle Singler. It’s been a bumpy ride for Lawrence Frank’s bunch in the early portion of the 2012-13 season. The Pistons started 0-8 before finally recording their first victory on November 14. Since the losing streak, Detroit has won three and lost three heading into the matchup against the Knicks on Sunday afternoon.
Last Time Out
New York: Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 37 points but the Knicks fell to the Rockets 131-103 on Friday night in Houston.
Detroit: Knight hit a layup with 7.8 seconds left in the contest against the Raptors on Friday night to lift the Pistons to a 91-90 win.
The Numbers Game
The Knicks are undefeated at home with an average margin of victory of 12.5 points per game.
Match-up to Watch
Tyson Chandler vs Greg Monroe
While the present looks grim for the struggling Pistons, the future should be bright behind the big man Monroe. When he entered the NBA out of Georgetown, scouts believed his skill around the rim and surprising pass abilities would separate him from the pack. At about five more minutes per game, Monroe’s numbers are up across the board including 17.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. On the other side, give Tyson Chandler a ton of credit for accepting blame after New York’s loss to Houston on Friday. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year said the Knicks gave up too many easy buckets in the paint and the mindset must change to reverse the two-game slide. His presence on the floor and inside the locker room is an absolute necessity on Sunday and moving forward this season.
What to Look For
Anthony voiced his displeasure for the Knicks performance in Houston after the squad allowed a season-high 131 points in a losing effort. The All-Star called the defeat unacceptable and his team will snap the two-game skid only if it returns to dominate defensive play. Detroit does not possess the dangerous wing players that created havoc against New York in the games in Dallas and Houston. In fact, the Pistons only average 92.2 points per game this season, which should allow the Knicks defense an opportunity for a strong outing on that side of the floor.