3 X’s the Drama
The Knicks returned home yesterday to face the Atlantic Division rival Raptors after a three game west-coast trip. A short-handed New York squad was without their big man Amar’e Stoudemire and up and coming rookie Iman Shumpert. Scoring in the paint was absent in yesterday’s loss, with the Knicks only getting 34 of their 85 points from the painted area. Coach D’Antoni tenure with New York will always be connected with offense, fast scoring and 3 point shooting being the focal point. The Knicks lived and eventually died last night from beyond the arc. Let me paint the picture a bit clearer, the Knicks took 78 field goal attempts, and 35 of those was from the 3, that’s 47% of the total shots taken from deep. Carmelo Anthony was the only Knick with a scoring groove, ‘Melo dropped 35 and was 4-9 from the three. Outside of ‘Melo, the Knicks were a combined 6-26 from deep.
Knicks and three-point shooting is not a new story for most Knicks fans, but against a team like the Raptors who lack a front-court defensive presence, one would assume that Coach ‘D would push the team to attack the basket. That just didnt happen yesterday, the Knicks offense settled for 2 set plays(or not set plays) were mid-post isolation for ‘Melo, or high screen and roll for a 3 or deep shot. That strategy worked well in the first quarter, but thereafter the shooting hit a wall and the team(Coach) couldn’t make the proper adjustments later in the game to keep a scoring momentum. The final 3 minutes of this game was close and the Knicks were down by 3 with about 25 second remaining in the game. Coach called a timeout to advance the inbound to the half-court area and the Knicks were supposed to run a “set play”, but Toney Douglas seem confused even before the inbound occurred, D’Antoni was yelling at him to get in the right position. The play seem broken quickly, ‘Melo eventually ended up with the ball by the half-court line and tried to make a deep three with two guys on ‘em. The ball bounced off the back of the rim and ‘Melo immediately looked at Toney and said “What happened? Why didn’t you run the play?“. Toney had no answer, maybe he just assumed the same as most spectators did yesterday, that someone(himself or ‘Melo) would just take a three to tie. The Knicks had more than enough time to attempt a quick two and then foul, but besides ‘Melo, the team couldn’t see inside of the paint. So once again the Knicks lived and eventually died by the three.