There have been many factors why the New York Knicks lose games and when they do, you can point the finger large in part to the execution or lack thereof on defense.
But we saw a disturbing trend rear its head again in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and that is the fact the Knicks lack of balance on offense is hurting them more often than not.
That is a trend that is more than a bit concerning.
Sure it’s nice to see Carmelo Anthony drop 42 points, but it is a bit disturbing when he does so and the rest of his teammates combine for only 46.
Opposing teams have made it an effort as of late to allow ‘Melo to get his 30 or 40 per game, but instead have concentrated on taking away the other Knicks players, who typically sit on the perimeter and wait on passes to take open three’s.
Those shots haven’t been as open lately.
As a result, the Knicks have been taking more forced shots late in the shot clock, which have allowed the opposition easier fast break opportunities.
That is something that didn’t happen early in the season.
If the Knicks aren’t forcing up bad shots late in the shot clock, they are forcing up shots early in it.
The results have been similar- easy baskets going the other way.
The Clippers took huge advantage of the Knicks lack of balance offensively and so has other teams as of late. That is something that will continue if things do not change.
The percentage of isolation plays continue to go up. So does the amount of bad shots per game.
With a team that shoots as many three’s as the Knicks do, there are going to be plenty of long rebounds, which has led to plenty of easy opportunities for the opposition.
When is the last time a Knicks player has come off a curl to get a pass for an easy mid-range jumper? When is the last time we have seen down screens and players using back cuts to get easy layups or dunks?
It has been a while because it is not happening.
The Knicks are at their best when the ball is moving side to side. That hasn’t happened that much lately as the ball never swings to the weak side anymore.
The way the Knicks have been playing for the most part as of late is not healthy for the long-term. You saw what happened to the Knicks in the playoffs last season when they were completely dependent on Anthony. When the Knicks become one dimensional, they are easily beatable.
Yet when they are getting contributions up and down the roster, they are a very tough team to beat.
The balance must return, but it is not as easy as the other players scoring more. Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson must make an effort to keep everyone involved.
You can go to Anthony early and late, but not keeping the rest of the team involved makes this Knicks team look like the team we saw one season ago.
That team wasn’t anything special, but this team has the talent to be so much more than that.
It all depends on how they want to play.
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