New York Knicks Stat Monkey Brief: Knicks/Nets (12/11/12)

The Battle for NYC Part II: The Assist-to-Turnover Ratio Difference.

Two days after their loss in Brooklyn, the Knicks heard Milwaukee fans chant, “Brooklyn’s better!” Suffice it to say everyone pays attention to this matchup.

What must the Knicks do to avoid hearing about the Nets in their next road trip? They must post a strong assist-to-turnover ratio, get hot from downtown, and limit the Nets’ offensive rebounds.

Assist-to-Turnover Ratio

Two weeks ago the Knicks posted a 14-assist, 14-turnover stat line in Brooklyn, while the Nets accumulated 23 assists versus only 12 turnovers. Raymond Felton in particular had a sloppy game for New York, as he had his second lowest assist-to-turnover ratio of the season with five assists and five turnovers. Fortunately, Felton has cleaned up his play over the past two weeks, averaging 6.1 assists versus only 2.0 turnovers in the seven games since the Brooklyn matchup.

The Knicks have posted a better assist-to-turnover ratio than their opponent in five of those games, all of which were wins, and are now 14-2 on the season when they have a better assist-to-turnover ratio than their opponent. In order to limit Brooklyn’s assist-to-turnover ratio tonight, the Knicks must hound Deron Williams, who’s fourth in the NBA with 8.7 assists per game and seventh in assist percentage at 40.4% (assisting about 40.4% of teammate field goals while on the floor).

From Downtown

In their last meeting, the Nets outshot the Knicks from downtown, connecting on 32.1% of treys, while the Knicks shot their second lowest three-point percentage of the season at 28.6%. This season the Knicks are 11-1 when shooting a better three-point percentage than their opponent, so they’ll need Steve Novak to continue his recent stretch of hot shooting from beyond the arc. Novak has drained an unbelievable 47.8% of treys while making 3.1 per game since the Brooklyn contest. The Knicks will need him to continue providing a spark off the bench tonight.

Offensive Rebounding

The Knicks allowed the Nets to come away with 18 offensive rebounds two weeks ago, the second highest opponent total against the Knicks this season. Offensive rebounds will be a key again tonight, as the Nets are seventh in the league in offensive rebounding percentage, coming away with about 30.9% of available offensive rebounds. They are led by Andray Blatche, who’s second in the NBA with a 17.0% rate. The Knicks must keep Blatche, Reggie Evans, and the rest of the Nets’ garbage men off the offensive glass tonight. In their five losses, New York has given up an average of 12.4 offensive rebounds, compared to only 9.7 offensive boards in their 15 wins.