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by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: August 26, 2013

The last of four scheduled meetings between the Sixers and Knicks in 2013-14, this game kicks off our 10 days, 10 games look at the PHILA BIG Game Plan. 

New York and Philadelphia have always been fierce rivals in the realm of professional sports. Mets-Phillies, Giants-Eagles, Rangers-Flyers, Knicks-Sixers… the animosity between the two cities is palpable. For many members of this year’s new-look Sixers team, though, this year will give them their first real taste of the rivalry.

This game marks the end of a stretch of five home games in six contests for the Sixers and begins an end-of-season campaign that sees the team play nine of its last 13 games on the road. 

Knicks’ Key Offseason Moves

The Knicks return each of their top-four minute-getters from last season (shooting guard J.R. Smith, forward Carmelo Anthony, point guard Raymond Felton, and center Tyson Chandler), with point guard Jason Kidd (retired; now head coach of the Brooklyn Nets), swingman Steve Novak (Toronto Raptors), and forward Chris Copeland (Indiana Pacers) serving as the key departures for a team that won more games (54) last season than in any season dating back to 1996-97 (57 wins). 

Key additions for New York include big man Andrea Bargnani, who was selected first overall out of Italy by the Toronto Raptors in the 2006 Draft, and forward Metta World Peace, a native of Queensbridge, New York who spent the last four seasons with the Lakers before being waived by the team under the amnesty provision this summer. 

Bargnani, who once garnered favorable comparisons to former MVP Dirk Nowitzki as an international prospect, looks to rebound following a 2012-13 season that saw him appear in just 35 games and average 12.7 points (39.9 FG%) and 3.7 rebounds in 28.7 minutes a night at the power forward and center positions. He averaged a career-high 21.4 points per game in 2011-12.

World Peace brings defensive toughness and veteran savvy to a forward rotation that includes six-time All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire. A four-time All-Defensive Team member and 2004 Defensive Player of the Year, he figured heavily into the Lakers’ 2010 Championship.

Through the draft, New York added guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. out of Michigan with the 24th-overall selection.

Projected Starters

Notables

Last season, New York attempted and converted more threes than any team in the NBA (2,371 and 891, respectively). In fact, the Knicks attempted and converted more threes than any team in NBA history last season. J.R. Smith (436) and Carmelo Anthony (414) were two of just 19 players in the league last season to attempt over 400 threes. They are now joined by another member of that select group, Metta World Peace, who attempted 412 threes last season. 

• In four meetings between the Sixers and Knicks last season, swingman Evan Turner averaged 15.8 points (40.0 FG%, 66.7 3P%, 91.3 FT%), 8.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. 

• Carmelo Anthony went 3 of 22 from beyond the arc in games against the Sixers in 2012-13, but got to the free-throw line more times against Philly (41 attempts) than against any other team in the league last season – he converted 35 of them. Anthony averaged 25.5 points (40.0 FG%, 13.6 3P%, 85.4 FT%), 7.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in those games.

• The Sixers hold a 240-189 all-time record against the Knicks. The first meeting between the two franchises occurred on November 13, 1949, with the then-Syracuse Nationals topping New York 80-66 at home.

Last Time They Met: Sixers 93, Knicks 99 – February 24, 2013

Tempers ran high in this game, the final contest of the season between the Knicks and Sixers. In the midst of a 12-5 Sixers run in the third quarter, Carmelo Anthony was called for a personal foul after a physical play under the basket with Sixers big man Spencer Hawes. Knicks center Tyson Chandler took exception, shoving Hawes and drawing a double technical. Anthony's personal foul was later upgraded to a Flagrant 1 after a replay review showed him elbow Hawes in the head. 

At that point, the Sixers trailed 68-53, but following the altercation, they battled back and cut New York’s lead to single digits. Despite drawing within five points with just under a minute remaining, Philly was not able to close it out, eventually falling 99-93 to drop their season series with the Knicks 3-1. 

Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with a game-high 30 points (12-24 FG) to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Evan Turner added 21 points (7-18 FG), eight assists, and six rebounds, while forward Thaddeus Young notched a double-double (11 points and 10 rebounds) in his first game back after missing six straight with a left hamstring strain. 

Carmelo Anthony scored a team-high 29 points and Amare Stoudemire added a season-high 22 for the Knicks. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton each finished with 14 points.