6 Facts to Know For Knicks-Mavericks

The Knicks take on Dallas at American Airlines Center where Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes await.

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1 Bad News Barnes

In Harrison Barnes’ last 10 games, the Mavericks’ forward is averaging 20 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting over 50%.

Look for Lance Thomas to be given the task of locking down Barnes.

2 Beas-Mode Again?

Bill Pidto and Wally Szczerbiak break down Michael Beasley's value for the Knicks, especially in the absence of Tim Hardaway Jr., while they take a look at Enes Kanter's incredible efficiency.

In the Knicks’ loss to Miami on Friday, Michael Beasley once again erupted for a double-double, notching 20 points and 10 rebounds on 73% shooting.

However, Beasley injured his ankle in overtime and is listed as questionable for tonight’s game. 

3 KP vs. Dirk

 

Alan Hahn is back with his Knicks Fix in the teams home opener, discussing Kristaps Porzingis' offseason progress, an interesting connection between Enes Kanter and Wally Szczerbiak, and changes to the Knicks jersey.

Kristaps Porzingis got together with Dirk Nowitzki over the summer in Johannesburg for some offseason workouts. While Nowitzki became an All-Star in his fourth year, Porzingis looks to make that goal a reality in just his third.

The two will face-off tonight in Dallas and Nowitzki has developed an admiration for the young star.

“He’s the real deal,” Nowitzki said.

4 Rookie Showcase

Drafted 8th and 9th respectively in last June’s draft, point guards Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. will most likely be compared against one another for their entire careers. 

Smith Jr. is currently averaging 13.9 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes for the Mavs.

Meanwhile, Ntilikina is tallying 5.8 points, 3.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds with 1.3 steals in 21.3 minutes. 

5 Making Progress

While he won’t play tonight, the Knicks received positive news Saturday when Tim Hardaway Jr. joined the team in half-court contact drills. Hardaway, who hasn’t played since November 29, will be re-evaluated this week and hopes to return to the court later this month.

6 To the Rafters

During halftime of tonight’s game, the Mavericks will retire Derek Harper’s No. 12 jersey. Harper played the majority of his career for the Mavs but spent parts of three seasons with the Knicks. Acquired by New York midway through the 1993-94 season, Harper was an integral part of the 1994 Knicks team that made the Finals.