The 2012-2013 NBA season is just a week old, but the New York Knicks have been one of the more dominant teams thus far.
The Knicks are one of four unbeaten teams, winning their first two games. They were dominant in both victories, winning by an average of 18 points, and trailing for less than one minute in either contest.
Now, New York looks to stay undefeated, against the team it beat on Sunday afternoon. The Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-84 at Madison Square Garden.
The two teams will complete their home-and-home series on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. You can watch a live stream online by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband.
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The 76ers will have to do a better job on the offensive side if they want to go to 2-1 on the season. In their loss to the Knicks, they shot 43 percent from the field, compared to the Knicks 50.6 percent.
Jrue Holliday was the only reason why Philadelphia was in contention at all. He hit five of six three-point attempts, helping keep the 76ers in the game when it looked the Knicks might run away with the lead. Philly probably won’t be able to rely on that Monday night. The point guard averages just one three-pointer made per game, in his career.
Head coach Mike Woodson has made the Knicks make a commitment to defense this season. In the opener, New York held the Miami Heat to 84 points, as well. In Miami’s other two games, they scored a combined 239 points.
Carmelo Anthony seems to have bought into Woodson’s philosophy. Not known for his defense, the small forward limited LeBron James in the opener, and recorded two blocks against the 76ers.
Both teams will be without their star big men. Amare Stoudemire remains out with a knee injury. He’s not expected to be back until at least the middle of December. Andrew Bynum still hasn’t played, since being dealt in the trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. There’s no timetable for Bynum’s return.
Jason Richardson, also acquired in the Howard trade, sprained his ankle on Sunday. He’ll be sidelined as a result.
The Knicks offseason additions have been major contributors in their first two games. Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton have played well together in the backcourt. After starting at point guard for his whole career, Kidd has thrived, playing off the ball. He’s made 53.8 percent of his shots, and dished out 4.5 assists per game.
Betting Line: Philadelphia- 2.5, 184.5
Prediction: Through their first two games, the Knicks have been the best defensive team in the NBA. Without Bynum and Richardson, the 76ers aren’t much of a threat on offense. If Steve Novak and Kidd continue to hit open shots, Anthony won’t even have to have a big game for the Knicks to win.
Prediction: New York 93, Philadelphia 85