New York Knicks head coach discusses what stood out in his team’s season-opening win over Atlanta.
Chris Iseman, Staff Writer, @chrisiseman
The Knicks and Nets are plenty familiar with each other since they played twice during preseason with their last game coming exactly one week ago.
The two teams will meet again tonight at Barclays Center, though this time the game counts.
Here’s a position breakdown for both teams:
Knicks: Trey Burke
Burke will likely get the start again for the Knicks after he scored 15 points in their season-opening win over the Hawks on Wednesday.
Nets: D’Angelo Russell
Russell had a sluggish performance in the Nets’ loss to the Pistons Wednesday, scoring just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting, including 1-of-4 from three-point range. He was benched for most of the fourth quarter.
Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway will try to follow up his 31-point performance with another big night against the Hawks. While he might not score 31 again, it’s important that Hardaway gives the Knicks consistent scoring.
Nets: Caris LeVert
LeVert didn’t start the season too badly, either, dropping a career-high 27 points on the Pistons. Much of Brooklyn’s offense centers around LeVert, who will handle the ball at times instead of Russell.
Knicks: Frank Ntilikina
Ntilikina had just five points against the Hawks. His strength is defense. Ntilikina affects the game in so many ways defensively. He had three steals against Atlanta.
Nets: Joe Harris
Harris had 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting on Wednesday, but was just 1-of-7 from the perimeter.
Knicks: Lance Thomas
Thomas is not going to put up much scoring — he had just three points against the Hawks but played just 15 minutes — but he’s strong defensively.
Nets: Jared Dudley
Dudley had a quiet season-opening performance, scoring just one point on a free throw while shooting 0-of-5 from the field. He collected three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Knicks: Enes Kanter
Kanter is a double-double machine for the Knicks. He had 16 and 11 against hte Hawks. Kanter’s production, especially on the offensive glass, is crucial for the Knicks.
Nets: Jarrett Allen
Allen, the 22nd overall pick in 2017, is one of the most promising young players for the Nets’ future. The 6-foot-11 Allen had 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks against the Pistons.
Role players to watch
Knicks: Noah Vonleh, Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson
Vonleh is active around the rim and can do a little bit of everything on both ends of the floor: He’ll rebound, score, set screens, play solid defense. Trier can be a spark off the bench. He scored 15 points against the Hawks and can hit shots from the outside or drive aggressively to the basket.
Knox will be looking to continue to make strides after losing his starting spot. Coach David Fizdale wants him to be aggressive on offense and to crash the boards for rebounds.
Robinson played just 1:18 against the Hawks before leaving the game with a tweaked ankle. His status against the Nets is uncertain.
Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie, Ed Davis
Dinwiddie was stellar off the bench against the Pistons, scoring 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting with four rebounds, six assists and one steal. He scored 16 of his points in the second half. Davis is strong down low and is a force on the boards.