New York Knicks Begin Three-Game Road Trip With Orlando Magic

By A.J. Speier

It’s hard to point out a weakness on the New York Knicks throughout their first four games of the season, but the Orlando Magic are going to try to find one.

The Knicks have the best defense, allowing just 87.5 points per game and the NBA’s second best offense with an average of 104.5 points per game.

Carmelo Anthony leads the league in scoring with an average of 27.3 points per game. J.R. Smith has been on fire beyond the arc and has made a league leading 68.8-percent of his 3-pointers. Tyson Chandler is ranked fifth in field goal percentage, making 62.5-percent of his shots.

Meanwhile, the Magic rank 11th in defense, allowing 93.5 points per game, but their offense ranks dead-last with an average of 87.8 points per game. Surprisingly, the Magic have the seventh best 3-point shooting per game at 37.5-percent though.

Arron Afflalo leads the Magic with 16.7 points per game. E’Twaun Moore leads the Magic in 3-point shooting, making 50-percent of his shots.

Moore has been playing in place of the injured Jameer Nelson (groin), who will be a game-time decision against the Knicks.

The Knicks are averaging a league-best 10.3 steals per game and have given up the league’s fewest amount of turnovers at 11.3. The Magic had the league’s fewest steals at 5.7 per game, but have committed the eighth-fewest turnovers with 14.3 per game.

A matchup to look out for will be Nikola Vucevic against Chandler. Vucevic had three double-doubles in the Magic’s first six games.

Due to Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks’ three of their first four games have been at home. The Knicks will have to prove they can win away from the Garden with a three-game road trip starting with Magic on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. They face San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. and the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at 9:30pm.

“Road wins are tough to get, so you’ve got to really be locked in and focused as a unit,” head coach Mike Woodson said. “I’m telling these guys, ‘Anybody can be beaten in this league if you don’t come to play.’ There are no bad teams. Some of the records might indicate teams are not playing very well, but you’re still beatable if you don’t come to compete.”

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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