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New York’s pick-up game defense neutralizes improved offense

Mar 16, 2011, 11:50 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Miami Heat Getty Images

Win three in a row, lose three in a row. Beat the Heat, get swept on a home-and-home by the Pacers.

Getting a read on the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony is hard because they are so erratic. They are 6-6 since the trade drama ended and have looked both like the team nobody wants to face in the first round and have looked like a team that will be swept right out of the playoffs.

Why? Their defense.

John Schuhmann over at NBA.com broke down the numbers and found that since the trade the Knicks offense has improved from 107.6 points per 100 possessions to 109.6. The problem is the defense went from giving up 106.1 points per 100 possessions to 109.2.

Since the break, the Knicks have the fourth-best offense in the league, but the 24th-best defense. And it’s not like they’ve been playing some offensive juggernauts in that stretch. In fact, eight of their last 12 opponents are in the bottom half of the league offensively. They allowed the Pacers to shoot 54 percent over two games in the last few days, after Indiana shot just 41 percent over their previous six games.

He went a step farther and noticed when Amar’e Stoudemire and Anthony are on the court together, they allow 110.9 points per 100 possessions. The offense is at 110.5. So, essentially it’s a wash. We’ll add that the Knicks still have done the best when just Stoudemire is on the floor.

I hear the Knicks fans argument now — we traded away our depth to get two stars together. The defensive players can be put in place around them, but getting two stars had to be the priority. That is how you win a title. Plus, Chauncey Billups has been out for a number of those games.

Valid points. But the numbers are showing what our eyes have already seen — the Knicks have their stars but still have a long way to go to be contenders for anything. And that fixing the defense has got to be the off-season priority.

  1. denverhoopdreams - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Yep. Lets see NY build around Anthony just like Denver tried to… It’s even harder to build around 2 superstars compared to one… man, ask the Heat.

    • rbndrw - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:02 PM

      do you have to comment on every article containing anything about the knicks?

      The Knicks defense is never going to be good under D’Antoni.

      • denverhoopdreams - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:41 PM

        I comment on a lot of articles on this blog, do you have a problem with that? I’ve been watching Melo play for 7.5 years and I know how he plays.

        Knicks fans have no faith in D’Antonis defense which was ranked in the middle when he coached the Suns… why should it be any different.

        I think your problem is that I know way to much about whats really going on, and you’re scared of hearing it.

  2. dysraw1 - Mar 16, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    we need more bigs in the worst way. dick dantone doesnt have a clue anytime u got five small fowards on the floor big signal that the knicks r in trouble.the moment we signed amare we should have been seeking other big to take up slack

    • denverhoopdreams - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:34 PM

      Thats what they kept saying about the Nuggets… try and find a big that wants to play with Melo… thats the hard part. So many bigs have turned down contracts with Denver just because they want the ball in the post… Melo wont facilitate that, and they’ll be giving the ball to Stoudemire for that. Just wont work out. Good luck!! :)

      • rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM

        why don’t you stop blaming Melo because you GM sucked, You have Nene, Martin,Sheldon Williams and you find away to blame Melo for that.Melo won A college championship, go ahead and blame him for that too, Melo had TO CARRY THAT TEAM.

      • nixonotis - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:26 AM

        With a user name like that, I never would have guessed that this would be your opinion.

  3. Sam James - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Has Denver’s defense improved since Anthony left?

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 16, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      Sam James: Yes, but that is more than the Melo trade. http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/15/denver%E2%80%99s-defense-is-much-better-but-that%E2%80%99s-not-all-about-%E2%80%98melo/

      • Sam James - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        That was yesterday? I just can’t keep up. Thanks for the reference.

      • denverhoopdreams - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Thanks again Kurt.

        Sam, If you have League Pass I highly recommend tuning into a Nuggets game, and watch them play some great transition, zone, and trapping defense. They steal like crazy, getting great blocks due to pressuring the post, and have hands up in everyones faces.

        Sometimes they look confused out there on who needs to switch, but thats expected by players learning a new play book… Karl has completely changed the playbook from “give melo the ball” to actual plays. So lets see how the rest of the season plays out. Two very big teams on Friday and Saturday… its going to be rough… I’m far from saying we’ll dominate the playoffs this season, and some of the top tier teams. But were going to give everyone a run for their money, thats for sure.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 16, 2011 at 8:00 PM

      I blame Melo.
      I blame Melo for Colorado not making the ncaa too, how you like that.

      • nixonotis - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:25 AM

        Melo caused the economic crisis.

      • denverhoopdreams - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        Colorado University blows balls. Why do you think I like them? Because I’m from Denver… Boulders an hour drive from Denver.. learn your geography.

  4. dysraw1 - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    im talking about a coach so obsessed with speed, that hes not interrested in big men to plug up his middle

  5. dysraw1 - Mar 16, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    the denver knicks

  6. dysraw1 - Mar 16, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    just kidding

  7. damp1015 - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:19 AM

    You know what is ridiculous? The fact that people tend to blame the Superstar just because they wanted to leave or what not. I think Denver has improved a great deal since the trade, it might just be that they needed more than one person who could score, diversity if what I would call it

    Hate who you want to hate, but understand that one person cannot create the solutions or the issues all by themselves.

    • denverhoopdreams - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM

      Once again, someone who thinks were mad Melo left… :|

  8. dysraw1 - Mar 17, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    people have a tendency to presume everybody thinks they know what melo wants, again why cant he just be a kid who wants 2 play for a team he grew up admiring.

    • denverhoopdreams - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      That’s not the matter.

      I wish you people understand were not mad Melo left. WE ARE GLAD.

  9. dysraw1 - Mar 17, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    love the knicks hate the coach

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