Here are a few things to keep an eye on during Saturday's Knicks-Hawks game:
Will J.R. shoot? One of the strangest things you'll find in the box score from Friday's loss is J.R. Smith's shooting line.
Smith has never been shy when it comes to getting his shot off, but he took just one shot in 26 minutes in Boston.
Afterward, Mike Woodson and Carmelo Anthony said they needed more on the offensive end from Smith.
Smith said he was trying to get his teammates involved. But the Knicks bench, minus Amar'e Stoudemire, scored just four points.
So they need Smith to facilitate less and find the rim more.
Smith wasn't the only off guard to struggle Friday. Woodson's club got just five points on 1-for-11 shooting from his shooting guards. Not good.
What about Melo? It's unfair to blame Anthony for the Knicks' struggles. There are many reasons the team enters play Saturday at 6-16. He isn't one of them. Need evidence? Anthony is leading the Knicks in points (25.6) and rebounds (9.4) per game.
If recent history is any indication, he's in for a big night against Atlanta.
According to STATS LLC, Anthony has averaged 34.2 points and made 18 of 33 3-pointers over his past six meetings with Atlanta. The Knicks could use a better finish from Anthony on Saturday, though. He went 0-for-7 against Boston in the fourth quarter Friday as New York coughed up an 11-point lead.
Bargs struggling from 3: The Knicks traded for Andrea Bargnani in July with the hope that he would help them stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting. That hasn't happened lately.
Bargnani went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc Friday and has missed his past nine attempts. His 29.6 percent shooting from distance is well below his 35.8 career mark from beyond the arc, per STATS LLC.
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