By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
Knicks vs. Pistons | Madison Square Garden
When: Tuesday | 7:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 98.7 FM
New York (11-22): After winning two of three in Texas, the Knicks return home looking to continue to build momentum in the new year. Iman Shumpert busted out on the trip, averaging 20.7 points and 5.3 rebound sper game while shooting 76.5% from three and 68.8% from the floor. Carmelo Anthony returned after missing time with an ankle sprain, and his leadership was evident as the team strung together its most consistent performances of the year, against three of the best teams in the Western Conference.
Detroit (14-20): After beating to the Knicks earlier this season in Detroit, the Pistons are trending in the wrong direction heading into tonight's matchup. They've lost four in a row and rank below league average in both offensive (18th) and defensive (24th) efficiency, a disappointing reality for the team many considered a legitimate playoff contender. Their best players are probably young big men Andre Drummond (21.9 PER) and Greg Monroe (17.4 PER), but the two key offseason additions, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, are shooting just 40 and 39 percent from the field, respectively.
The Numbers Game
A sign the Knicks are on the right track: They are back to committing the fewest turnovers in the league -- averaging only 12.57 per game.
Matchup to Watch
Tyson Chandler/Kenyon Martin vs. Andre Drummond
After leaving Sunday's game in Dallas just minutes in due to an upper respiratory infection, Chandler is listed as questionable, according to Knicks PR. If Chandler doesn't go, it'll be up to Kenyon Martin and the rest of the Knicks' big to contain the explosive Drummond. Martin, who is coming off a season-high 14-point performance against the Mavs possesses the toughness, if not the same athleticism, as the Pistons' former 1st round pick.
What to Look For
Raymond Felton is listed as probable to make his return tonight, so as long as things go well in pre-game shootaround, expect him to join the starting lineup. That would likely push Beno Udrih to the bench, and could severely impact the playing time of Toure' Murry, who has impressed in recent stretches... Shumpert will look to continue his strong play, adding that he hopes the Garden will "be crazy" when the Knicks return home... The way to beat the Pistons is to force them -- especially Jennings and Smith -- to take long 2-point jumpers, so keep an eye on the Knicks' communication on the perimeter and ability to defend the paint.