Knicks vs. Suns Gameday

Scouting Report

Jonah Ballow


Knicks vs. Suns 7:30 PM
Where to Watch: MSG
Where to Listen: ESPN 1050 AM

Big Picture

After a home loss to Orlando on Monday, the Knicks spent a significant amount of time at Madison Square Garden Training Center working on some of the issues that plagued them in the defeat. Carmelo Anthony shot jumpers on his sore right ankle and continues to battle past the injuries that also includes a sprained left wrist. At 6-7 on the season, New York has a golden opportunity to jump back over the .500 mark with three more game at the Garden before hitting the road again.

The Suns are an interesting team with a mix of veteran and young players that are trying to find the winning ways during a 4-9 start to the season. Phoenix acquired former Lakers high-flyer Shannon Brown, Ronnie Price, and drafted Kansas forward Markieff Morris. Steve Nash and Grant Hill remain a pivotal part of the Suns success despite their age to go along with a rising impact player in the post, Marcin Gortat. Phoenix is in the midst of a rigorous five-game road trip that features contests against San Antonio, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Dallas.

Last Time Out
The Knicks seemed poised to snatch a home win on Monday but Orlando’s offense exploded in the fourth quarter. Despite Anthony’s 33 points on the bum ankle, New York fell 102-93 to the Magic as Ryan Anderson’s dropped a career-high 30 points.

On Tuesday night, the Suns allowed Chicago to core 39 first quarter points and suffered a 118-97 loss. Oddly enough, Phoenix was exceptional from the perimeter, hitting 51.4 percent and 45.5 percent at the three-point line.

The Numbers Game
Anthony is just six points away from a substantial milestone. Most likely the All-Star will record at least six points on Wednesday and reach the 15,000 points plateau in his ninth NBA season.

Match-up to Watch
Knicks Backcourt vs. Steve Nash

At the ripe age of 37, Nash is still causing headaches for opposing defenses and averaging a double-double. The former MVP returned to the lineup against San Antonio after missing Friday’s game due to a right quadriceps contusion. He is a remarkable athlete and one of the most intelligent basketball players in the NBA with his ability to survey the defense and make a high percentage decision. Rookie Iman Shumpert, Mike Bibby, and Toney Douglas will have to watch his productivity off the pick-and-roll throughout Wednesday’s contest.

What to Look For
The Suns are used to finding a top spot in all the offensive categories with Nash at the helm. However, this season, Phoenix ranks 16th in points per game at 93.8 and 14th in assists per game. While they are not the potent offensive squad from years past, the Suns present challenges in transition. On the flip side, the Knicks coaching staff feels confident with their knowledge of the Phoenix offense. In fact, New York runs some of the same sets and has a chance to work against that type of offense during practice sessions.

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