Julius Randle And The Knicks Look To Stay Hot vs. 76ers In Atlantic Division Showdown

Photo from Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports, via Nets Wire

The New York Knicks (4-10) will be facing the Philadelphia 76ers (8-5) at 7:00pm Eastern Time on the road in Philly. The 76ers are listed as 12.5 point favorites in this Atlantic Division matchup. The 76ers are currently 4-0 at home on the season.

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

PositionNew York KnicksPhiladelphia 76ers
PGFrank Ntilikina (generating turnovers, scoring)Ben Simmons (driving, free throw shooting)
SGRJ Barrett (driving, perimeter defense)Furkan Korkmaz (three point shooting, aggressiveness)
SFMarcus Morris Sr. (3 point shooting, turnovers)Tobias Harris (scoring/defense, three point shooting/turnovers)
PFJulius Randle (interior scoring, turnovers)Al Horford (defense, fouling)
CTaj Gibson (hustle, size)Joel Embiid (scoring/rebounding, fouling/turnovers)

Matchup Of The Night

Frank Ntilikina vs. Ben Simmons

Frank Ntilikina will draw the daunting task to contain the 6-10, triple-double machine, Ben Simmons. Simmons is currently averaging 13.7 points, 7.1 assists, and 6 rebounds per game. Frank Ntilikina has the best assist to turnover ratio on the Knicks (2.69). He will need to continue his proficient ball security, as Simmons is averaging an impressive 2.3 steals per game. Ntilikina who averages 1.5 steals per game, will look to take advantage of Simmons’ issues with turnovers, leading the 76ers with 3.6 turnovers per game. Simmons has also had issues with fouling, averaging 3.5 fouls per game. Simmons has not attempted a three this season. Ntilikina will need to do his best to keep Simmons out of the paint, where he is most prolific. There is virtually no chance Ntilikina wins this matchup, but the closer he can stay with Simmons, the better chances the Knicks will have at stealing this one on the road.

Inactives

Knicks- Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock

76ers- Josh Richardson

Key Statistics

  1. The 76ers are 6th in the NBA, averaging 26.2 assists per game. The Knicks are 27th, averaging 20.1 assists.
  2. Philadelphia is 27th in the NBA, averaging 17.5 turnovers per game. New York is 13th, averaging 15.4 turnovers.
  3. The 76ers are averaging 9.2 steals per game, 4th in the NBA. The Knicks average 8.3, which is 9th.
  4. The 76ers are averaging 5.9 blocks per game, 6th in the NBA. New York is only averaging 4.1 blocked field goal attempts per game, tied with Philadelphia for 5th/6th in the NBA.
  5. Philadelphia commits the most fouls per game in the NBA, averaging 24.9 per game. The Knicks are 28th in the NBA, averaging 23.9 per game.
  6. The Knicks are last in the NBA, shooting 67.6% from the foul line. The 76ers are 25th, shooting 73.1%.
  7. The Knicks lead the NBA in Offensive Rebound % (31.2). The 76ers lead the NBA in Defensive Rebound % (78.1).
  8. Philadelphia’s two leaders in personal fouls per game are Joel Embiid (3.8) and Ben Simmons (3.5).

Keys To Winning

For the Knicks to win this game, they must protect the paint, not foul, and have good ball security. The Knicks are less talented than this 76ers team, so taking good shots and not turning the ball over for easy baskets is a priority. The Knicks should look to attack Joel Embiid and try getting him in foul trouble. On defense, I would expect Gibson to have issues with Embiid down low, so Mitchell Robinson will need to avoid fouling for the Knicks to contain Embiid while he’s on the floor. The 76ers bench is a bit shaky, so the Knicks 2nd unit will have opportunities to go on a run and energize their team. The most important thing tonight is crashing the boards and not allowing this big, 76ers team, to get lots of layups and dunks. New York will have to live with Philly hitting triples if they heat up. Marcus Morris Sr. can also spark this Knicks team, as he’s been one of their top scorers and will be playing in his hometown tonight, looking to put on a show.

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