Knicks can't let down their guard against Timberwolves

Jason Kidd reacts after the Knicks lose to

Jason Kidd reacts after the Knicks lose to the Nets. (Jan. 21, 2013) (Credit: David Pokress)

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Knicks have struggled to contain quick point guards and tend to overlook teams they think they should beat.

If these potentially alarming trends continue Friday night, the Timberwolves will be happy the Knicks dropped by the Target Center.

They were beaten badly by John Wall (24 points, nine assists) and the Wizards in Washington on Wednesday night. On Friday night they get Ricky Rubio and a Minnesota team that's lost 13 of its last 15 games.

Minnesota coach Rick Adelman could feed the Knicks a heavy diet of pick-and-rolls. They have had trouble defending that, most recently when Wall had the ball.

"We have to make adjustments," Tyson Chandler said. "When you're playing a quick point guard like that, you have to stick to the game plan, and if the game plan doesn't work, then you have to make adjustments."

Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni have been exploited lately. In the last two weeks, 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday (35 points), Atlanta's Jeff Teague (27 points) and Orlando's Jameer Nelson (21) all had big games against the Knicks.

Mike Woodson said he's putting it on his perimeter players and "they've got to take pride in guarding."

The Knicks could try to acquire a quick point guard by the Feb. 21 trade deadline. But they have Iman Shumpert, a strong perimeter defender who still is working his way back from a torn ACL.

All-Star Saturday

Steve Novak will compete in the three-point shootout on Feb. 16 in Houston. James White will be in the slam-dunk contest.

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