Live Or Die By The 3

New York Knicks guard Bill Walker reacts during an NBA preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Paris on October 6, 2010. The Timberwolves won the contest, part of the annual NBA Europe Live tour, by the score of 106-100. UPI/David Silpa Photo via Newscom

Maybe we need Bill Walker and his sweet shooting stroke to get more minutes. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

After writing my post yesterday I saw that I’d received a sample from potential new Buckets writer, Joshua Sage, apparently using the same “Live by the three, die by the three” adage that I used.  Which, of course, is not to be confused with former television juggernaut Lost’s “We either live together or die alone” phrase.  Then again, that kinda works for bball too.  Anyway, without any further ado, here’s Joshua’s piece:

Thus far proven in-adequate by the loss of Steve Nash, from his ‘brilliant’ 7 seconds or less offensive system, Mike D’Antoni has resorted to relying almost exclusively on three pointers.

Some have argued that this isn’t the worse plan in the world and that it might actually be working if A) Raymond Felton would create more space for his shooters by mastering the pick & roll and forcing defenders to adjust to him and Amar’e, or B) the Knicks would actually hit the three pointers they’re supposed to hit.

The problem with both is one and the same. The Knicks don’t have the personnel on the floor to be a high volume three point shooting team. Felton has never hit better then 38% of his three’s (32% for his career), Toney Douglas is at 36% for his career and Chandler is an awful 30% from range (same as Landry Fields), and all three make matters worse by attempting three point shots off the dribble, increasing the difficulty of the shot and thereby decreasing their chances of making it.

The Knicks best three point shooter is Bill Walker at 41% (who NEVER gets any real playing time), followed by Kelenna Azubuike at 40% then Danilo Gallinari at 38%. After examining these averages it becomes apparent that the only Knick not hitting three’s like he should is the Rooster. No other Knick starter is good enough beyond the arc to warrant them taking a high volume of shots from distance, save for Walker & Azubuike. Toney is good enough but he continues to take far too many three’s off the dribble instead of catching and shooting.

The Knicks thus far have functioned best when attacking the rim and getting the opposing team into foul trouble. Danilo has an uncanny ability to get to the line nearly every time he drives to the rim. His mobility & ball handling for his height makes it very, very difficult for defenders to stop him from getting to the rim without fouling him. Any player that can match his 6’11” frame can’t keep up with him (save Kevin Durant) and none that move faster can contend with his length. So if Danilo and Amar’e can get to the line at will, and Chandler’s/Felton’s strength is attacking the basket, then why rely on three point attempts?

If Mike insists on burying teams under the weight of three point makes, then why not start the teams’ best three point shooter at SG? If that is the system, then Walker is the ONLY option, at that position, in the starting 5. At least until Azubuike gets back that is.

I know everyone is high on Fields and his basketball IQ, he looks like the next Wilson Chandler, etc. The fact is he is a terrible three point shooter and the Knicks require a quality shooter with range at SG to help space the floor for Danilo, Amar’e, Raymond, and Chandler who all do their best work when attacking the rim.

Either Mike changes up the system or he removes Fields from the starting 5. The man better choose and quickly because if the Knicks hit another 6 game slide there will be fans waiting outside for him, with torches and pitchforks, like crazed farmers waiting for Frankenstein’s monster.

Tags: Amare Stoudemire Danilo Gallinari Joshua Sage Kelenna Azubuike Landry Fields Mike D'Antoni New York Knicks Raymond Felton Toney Douglas Wilson Chandler

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