Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Knicks at Pelicans (12/30/17)

by Jim Eichenhofer

A look at three key numbers related to Saturday’s game at the Smoothie King Center between New York and New Orleans (6 p.m., Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):

3: Combined players on the Pelicans and Knicks who rank in the top 10 individually of the NBA in rebounding average. After his 20-board outing Friday, DeMarcus Cousins is fourth in the league at 12.3 per game, while teammate Anthony Davis is tied with New York center Enes Kanter for ninth place. Both Davis and Kanter are averaging 10.3 rebounds per game. Overall, the Knicks are a much better rebounding team than the Pelicans, ranking third in differential at plus-3.5. New Orleans is tied for 19th in that stat, losing the rebounding battle by an average of 0.7 boards.

9-4: New Orleans record against the Eastern Conference this season, accounting for half of its 18 wins over a total of 35 games. The Pelicans (18-17 overall) already have victories over current third-place Cleveland, No. 4 Milwaukee, No. 7 Indiana and No. 8 Miami. New York (17-18) is currently in ninth place. New Orleans is 0-2 against No. 2 Toronto and 0-1 vs. No. 6 Washington, with the only other loss coming to Orlando in October.

62: Days since the Knicks won a road game outside New York City. Since winning at Cleveland on Oct. 29, the Knicks’ only victory away from home all season occurred Dec. 14 against cross-city rival Brooklyn. New York is 2-12 on the road in 2017-18, including dropping 10 of its last 11 away games. A word of caution for New Orleans, though: Dallas entered Friday at just 3-14 on the road but beat the Pelicans by a 128-120 tally. New Orleans is 9-8 at home this season; after tonight, its next game here isn’t until Jan. 8.