4. More pick-and-roll with Carmelo Anthony
As mentioned before, being primarily and isolation team isn’t going to work against the Pacers. Anthony is having big problems scoring on Paul George, so Woodson has to find a way to free up some room for him. That means more pick-and-roll with Anthony and Raymond Felton. I know the Knicks like to use Chandler as the primary pick-and-roll guy with Felton, but they need to start using ‘Melo more in those sets.
George held Anthony to 4-for-11 shooting in Game 3 and ‘Melo has hit just 34 percent of his attempts when defended by George throughout the series. Anthony has to shoot more in Game 4, but Woodson has to find ways to get him better looks. This is one option.
5. Limit Roy Hibbert’s Impact Defensively
If the Knicks take Hibbert out of the series, they will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course that’s easier said than done. The pressure will be on Chandler to prevent him from having a big day offensively, but limiting what Hibbert can do defensively is just as important. Hibbert is having success because the ball isn’t moving, which means he can set up before the play begins. The Knicks need to make him work and more importantly make him move.
The Knicks need to get the ball moving quickly from side to side. If they do, they have a good chance to keep Hibbert off balance. Kicking out from the pick-and-roll, even if it’s just for another pass will do wonders for the Knicks offense. Hibbert is averaging 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during the series. If the Knicks allow him to stay in the paint and wait for them to drive at him, he will win the series all by himself.
6. Pick up the Pace
The Knicks will likely stay small, which means they must pick up the tempo. Indiana is pounding the Knicks and owning the paint. There is no big-man solution for the Knicks against the Pacers so the next best option is to run as much as possible. Quicker transitional scoring will minimize the impact of the Pacers’ big play inside and wear down their big men over the course of the game. It will also limit the impact of Hibbert defensively and force Indiana to keep up offensively, which isn’t exactly their strength.
7. More Pablo Prigioni
The ball needs to move more, which means the Knicks need a smooth passing and accurate shooting backcourt. Prigioni is only playing a little over 20 minutes per game and the Knicks need more of him to win this series. He can handle himself defensively and the Knicks’ offense runs much more smoothly when he is on the floor. On the other hand, Prigioni has to be more willing to shoot the ball. Prigioni is the Knicks most accurate backcourt shooter and the Pacers are giving him shot attempts. He has to take them and knock them down.
Felton has only eight assists in three games. Then there’s the fact that Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith have been horrible. That’s just more indication that Woodson needs to give the keys to Prigioni and stick with him more often.
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