Knicks Preview: Keys to Defeating the New Orleans Pelicans

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Nov 13, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Orleans Pelicans guard

Eric Gordon

(10) gets congratulated as he comes off the court against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated New Orleans 100-81. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Arron Afflalo vs. Eric Gordon

For the New York Knicks, Arron Afflalo is the stabilizing force at shooting guard. For the New Orleans Pelicans, Eric Gordon is the resurgent star looking to silence his critics.

Never underestimate the power of a contract year.

Gordon has looked like his old self, averaging 20.0 points on a slash line of .417/.390/.828. He’s scored at least 20 points in five of his past six games, including a 30-point eruption against the Toronto Raptors.

Afflalo will need to contain Gordon if New York is to have any hope of winning this game.

Defensively, that starts with limiting his openings along the 3-point line. Gordon has already made 30 3-point field goals in 10 games, and quietly shot an absurd 44.8 percent from distance in 2014-15.

Offensively, Afflalo will need to help the Knicks close out in the fourth quarter—a major issue thus far.

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