Minutes before tip in New York

"What I really want to do is keep my focus on getting this team ready," Doug Collins said. (Photo credit: Heather Ainsworth)

NEW YORK – Just about 30 minutes before game time here in the Garden, and 76ers coach Doug Collins is concerned about defending the three-pointer, something I touched on this morning in the paper.

What Collins wants the Sixers – off since the played their last game on Wednesday – to do is prevent the Knicks from setting up and getting comfortable taking that long shot.  In their season-opening 104-84 rout of NBA defending champion Miami on Friday, the Knicks connected on 19 of 36 three-pointers (52.8 percent).

“We went back and looked at the film and what we saw was that 17 of those threes were catch-and-shoot threes,” Collins said, “so it just demonstrates that we have to defend their shooters. We’ve got to do a good job of jumping out there and defending those shots.”

It will be interesting to see how the Knicks perform today, coming off that impressive win over Miami. Could there be a letdown? Equally interesting will be how they play on Monday, when these two teams meet again in the second of a back-to-back series at Wells Fargo Center.  With an average age of 31.6 years, the Knicks are the oldest team in the NBA.