The Knicks got embarrassed at home against the worst possible opponent on Monday night. The final score, 102-80, shows a 22-point blowout for cross-town rival, Brooklyn, but their domination extended throughout the game. After taking an eleven-point lead into the second quarter, the Nets didn’t let up, and the Knicks didn’t make it very hard for them, either. Much to the chagrin of center Tyson Chandler and star Carmelo Anthony, New York’s defense continues to show glaring holes.
After the game, veteran Chandler — the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year — was critical of the Knicks’ policy of switching pick-and-rolls, saying that they lacked the personnel to continue the practice.
Tyson Chandler said he doesn't agree with the Knicks defensive game plan and that they don't have the personnel to switch on pick-and-rolls.
— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) January 20, 2014
Switching pick-and-rolls has been Woodson’s policy since day one, and while the Knicks defense wasn’t incredible last year, they were quick enough to still get back to shooters fast enough to prevent some semblence of orientation. This year has been a lot different. They’re ranked in the bottom five in defensive rating, allowing more points per possession than 25 other teams, per NBA.com. And they’re dead last in the league in both patrolling the paint, or preventing fast break points.
But in Chandler, the guy tasked with controlling the paint, to publicly call out Woodson’s defensive stratagem, is not a good sign at all.
Not only that, but star Carmelo Anthony was visibly disgusted with the miscommunication on a pick-and-roll early in the fourth quarter, as Doris Burke explains in the video below. On the play, Andrea Bargnani fails to switch onto Deron Williams during D-Will’s pick-and-roll with Mirza Teletovic. The result is a wide-open three for D-Will. Melo’s disgruntled shake of the head as a reaction should give Knicks fans counting on him re-signing this summer, some pause.
After starting the new year 6-1, the Knicks have lost four straight. The only thing in their favor is an Eastern Conference so bad they’re only two games out from an eight seed. But the future of ‘Melo, and the franchise as a whole, are interwined in ambivalence right now.
What do you think?
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