SCOUTING REPORT: Knicks vs. Suns Gameday

Scouting Report

Jonah Ballow


Knicks vs. Suns – Madison Square Garden
When: Sunday | 12:00 PM
Where to Watch: MSG Networks
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM

Team Reports

New York:  On Saturday afternoon, the Knicks convened at MSG Training Center for a rare practice session. Due to a brutal schedule and mostly road games, New York has been forced to capture victories without time on the practice floor. Nevertheless, the squad feels extremely confident after an 11-4 November, the most franchise wins in a month since going 11-6 in March 2000. The Knicks have accomplished the impressive mark despite Jason Kidd’s absence over the past three games and Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert since the start of the season. Kidd is not expected to suit up on Sunday and is listed as day-to-day with lower back spasms.

Phoenix:  The transition period continues for the rebuilding Suns in the post-Nash era. This past summer, Phoenix did the unthinkable by trading its franchise star to the rival Lakers. On closer inspection, the move was inevitable and a goodwill gesture to the two-time former MVP that helped carry the Suns for eight productive seasons. The team attempted to add some firepower in the offseason by acquiring Goran Dragic, Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal, and drafting Kendall Marshall out of North Carolina. Featuring the new-look roster, Phoenix is off to a 7-10 start to the season after consecutive defeats heading into the matchup against the Knicks. The Suns are in the midst of a long six-game road trip with a game in Memphis on Tuesday night.

Last Time Out
New York: The Knicks crushed the Wizards 108-87 on Friday night behind Carmelo Anthony’s 20 points and Tyson Chandler’s 10 boards.

Phoenix: The Suns suffered a 101-97 loss to the Raptors on Friday night.

The Numbers Game
New York is 17-1 in the regular season at Madison Square Garden under Mike Woodson.

Match-up to Watch
Raymond Felton vs. Goran Dragic

Dragic leads the Suns in three different statistical categories. The point guard averages 15.6 points, 6.6 assists, and two steals per game in his third stint in Phoenix. Raymond Felton will face a challenge in attempting to keep the aggressive Dragic out of the paint as he will attack with a strong left hand. With that said, he tends to favor that left side of the floor and Felton will most likely funnel him to Tyson Chandler to shutdown any driving attempts.

What to Look For
Remarkably, the Knicks will play consecutive games at Madison Square Garden for the first time this season. New York is undefeated at home and has shown no mercy to less talented opponents with blowout victories over sub .500 teams. Watch the Knicks offensive output in this contest as they rank No. 3 in the league, averaging 102.7 points per outing. If the Suns’ 30th ranked defense struggles to defend New York’s high octane offense that is powered by its 3-point shooting, expect another easy victory for the home team.

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