Derrick Willis, the excellent blogger over at FanSided’s Minnesota Timberwolves blog, Dunking With Wolves, sent me some great questions about today’s game against his team. Here are his questions and my answers:
For the Knicks I don’t usually examine teams in a position-by-position analysis since the team does a lot of switching, swarming and zoning, very rarely leaving one guy isolated to play D against another one. So for instance, we don’t have any good low-post defenders, meaning Big Al should kill us, but in the last game we double-teamed him whenever he got it. That said, I think the Wolves’ weakest spot is SF where they’ve rotated Gomes and Damien Wilkins and haven’t gotten the consistency they’d like. Earlier in the year I would’ve said SG ‘cuz Corey Brewer was defending great but was an offensive liability. Now he’s huge on both sides of the court.
As I mentioned, in single-coverage, we can’t contain Al Jefferson. Jonny Flynn also would be too much for Duhon to handle, but for the most part we’ll probably have Jared Jeffries on him instead. He kept backing off Flynn, daring him to shoot a jump shot. If Flynn doesn’t take at least a few of those to keep Jeffries honest, he’ll have a tough night again.
Positions are almost irrelevant for the Knicks since they switch so much and use such unusual matches, like having Jeffries often cover the point guard. We tend to not post up normal sized SGs, so we don’t gain any advantage there, but if a team does choose to play like 2 PGs then we will post-up. Defensively, when going up against a Kobe-type, we just double, so again it don’t really matter that whoever is considered SG doesn’t have the lateral speed. The big general disadvantage is that besides Jeffries, we don’t have great individual defenders, which is why we have to resort to such a chaotic D (which can kill us if the other team has good outside shooters).
The Knicks have played so poorly of late (except for that game), that if anything I’m less confident. Teams sometimes get more pumped for better teams, so if the Knicks even slightly think they can take the Wolves for granted… well, we ain’t playing well enough to do that and we’ll get shellacked.
The Wolves will get a solid 10-point lead early on. The Knicks will climb back up at some point. Will they have enough energy to then take the lead too? I dunno. But I gotta put my sunglasses on and say in the end it’ll be a beautiful sunshiney day & we’ll win.
No, I think Josh Smith was. But Lee’s second.
Sadly, I think so.
On a scale of 1 to 10 I’d say I miss Mr. Thomas about a negative infinity. Plus or minus two.