As you would expect from a Mike D’Antoni team offense is the name of the game with the New York Knicks. They give up a few more points when they lose sacrificing 105.6 points per game in wins and 110.0 when they lose, but the real difference is the complete lack of offense in losses. In their 11 wins New York has averaged 117.2 points per game. However, in their 17 losses the Knicks only average 96.2 points per game. That spread of 21.0 points is the largest in the NBA. By comparison the Nuggets average 106.2 points per game in wins and 95.5 in losses. That is a wide difference, but nothing like the Knicks.
What does that mean? I guess there have been 11 games this season where the Knicks have either been red hot (they have plenty of explosive players such as Al Harrington, Nate Robinson and or have faced non existent defense. If Denver can manage to play a little defense and challenge the Knicks shooters they should be able to pull off a road win to start this four game trip. On the other hand, if they let the Knicks get off to a good start as they did the 76ers last night, the Knicks are probably not going to cool off and let the Nuggets back in the game the way Philly did.
There will be an obstacle Denver will have to face other than the Knicks tomorrow. NBA players are creatures of routine and habit and this game will be the most non-routine game Denver will play this season. Tip off is scheduled for 11:05 AM Mountain time. I am willing to bet that the players will have to be on the floor warming up before the time they usually get out of bed for a typical road game. It will be awkward for the Nuggets and the early start time will be an issue. The good news for the early start time is they will have plenty of time to fly to Atlanta and get settled in for their game Monday against the Hawks.
More good news is after going 2-1 in his absence Denver will be getting Carmelo Anthony back as he is listed as probable for the game tomorrow.
I think we will see a good effort out of the Nuggets. It is the first game of a road trip where they have a legitimate chance of winning all four games (the only winning team they will play is Atlanta) and hopefully they will use their comeback victory against Philadelphia as a motivational victory instead of proof that they can afford to only play a quarter of the game against an inferior opponent.