Knicks Seek Revenge Against Kristaps Porzingis: Knicks vs. Mavericks Preview

image from closeup 360

The New York Knicks (1-7) will be taking on the Dallas Mavericks (5-2) at 8:30pm Eastern Time in Dallas. Dallas is 11.5 point favorites led by Luka Doncic and ex-Knick hero, now villain, Kristaps Porzingis.

Starting Lineups- With 2 Attributes That Will Be Impactful Tonight (Strength, Weakness)

PostionNew York KnicksDallas Mavericks
PG Frank Ntilikina (generating turnovers, scoring)Luka Doncic (driving, turnovers)
SG RJ Barrett (driving/drawing fouls, free throw shooting)Courtney Lee (perimeter defense, scoring)
SFMarcus Morris Sr. (3 point shooting, fouling)Dorian Finney-Smith (rebounding, shooting)
PFJulius Randle (rebounding, defense)Kristaps Porzingis (scoring, interior defense)
CTaj Gibson (rebounding, scoring)Dwight Powell (interior defense/fg%, rebounding)

Matchup Of The Night

Frank Ntilikina vs. Luka Doncic

Doncic is having an MVP caliber year leading the Mavericks in all 3 major categories almost averaging a triple double (26.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 9.1 assists). Ntilikina is coming off one of the best games of his career shooting 5-7 from the floor while being a weapon on the defensive side of the ball. Frank will draw the daunting task of guarding Doncic who is known for his premier playmaking, ability to get into the paint, and his finishing around the rim. Luka is shooting 32.8% from three this year, almost identical to the 32.7% he shot from three last year. Doncic is a fromiddable shooter from deep, but he is much more efficient from inside the three point line and it will be crucial Frank along with the rest of the Knicks defense helping and hedging on screens, keep him out of the paint. Luka has worked hard on improving from the free throw line shooting 81.1% from the line this year, 9.8% higher than he shot last year. Frank’s strength for generating turnovers could prove to be very useful tonight, as Doncic is averaging 4.9 turnovers per game (2nd in the NBA). Doncic is currently 4th in the NBA at personal fouls drawn per game (7) and is 2nd in the NBA in assist percentage (45.4%).

Inactives

Knicks- Elfrid Payton, Mitchell Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavericks- No current injuries

Key Statistics

  1. Doncic (3.9) and Porzingis (3.6) are both in the top 15 in the NBA in 2nd chance points per game this season.
  2. The Mavericks are 6th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game averaging (27.1). The Knicks are 10th (25.6).
  3. The Knicks lead the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (11.9), while the Mavericks are just behind them, 5th in the NBA (11.4).
  4. The Knicks are dead last in the NBA shooting 66.3% from the foul line. Dallas is 19th in the NBA (75.3%).
  5. Dallas is 5th in the league in personal fouls per game (20.3)
  6. The Mavericks are 6th in the NBA in points per game (115.3), meanwhile the Knicks are 29th in the league (99.9).

Keys To Winning

The Mavericks are 5th in the NBA in personal fouls per game and the Knicks have been going to the line quite a bit (25.6 times per game). The Knicks leaders is drawing fouls are RJ Barrett (5.1/game) and Marcus Morris Sr. (4.1/game), so these two players along with Julius Randle (2.9/game) must be aggressive and get to the line. Even though the Knicks have been struggling from the free throw line, especially Barrett (49.1%) and Randle (60%), drawing fouls and getting Porzingis and others into foul trouble will only behoove the Knicks. The Knicks will need to keep Doncic under control and keep him out of the paint so he can’t score, dish to open shooters around the perimeter, or throw up lobs to his big men. Finally, the Knicks are going to need to make their free throws and score enough to keep up with the Mavericks high powered offense. It is also worth mentioning that Marcus Morris Sr. will draw the tough defensive matchup to contain Kristaps Porzingis who is a matchup nightmare on offense.

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