Knicks Preview: Keys to Defeating the New Orleans Pelicans

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Nov 13, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

1. Close Out

For three quarters, the New York Knicks have looked like one of the best teams in the NBA. They’ve kept it close or led against all 10 opponents thus far.

Fourth quarter execution simply hasn’t been New York’s forte.

The Knicks have scored less than 20 points in the fourth quarter during five of its six losses. The only exception was the 112-101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, which was played on November 29—the second game of the season.

Next: Carmelo Anthony doesn't want his teammates to shy away from the moment in the fourth quarter

Since then, it’s been nothing but dreadful.

In the two most recent games, New York scored a combined 26 points in the fourth quarter. That includes 14 points in a 95-93 loss to the Charlotte Hornets and 12 in a 90-84 defeat at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

No matter what happens during the first three quarters, the Knicks need to start closing out games with a positive measure of efficiency. That starts against the New Orleans Pelicans.