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Mike Woodson’s plan to fix Knicks’ pick-and-roll defense

Dec 27, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Getty Images

The Knicks are a lousy defensive team, but they’re especially bad at defending the pick-and-roll.

New York ranks 29th in points allowed per play finished by a pick-and-roll ball-hander and 30th in points allowed per play finished by a pick-and-roll screener, according MySynergySports.

Wisely, because this isn’t working, Knicks coach Knicks coach Mike Woodson wants to change how his team defends pick-and-rolls.

Woodson, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I don’t want to switch,” Woodson said after Thursday’s practice. “I’ve always wanted to put the emphasis on our perimeter guys to guard perimeter players. Bigs are supposed to guard bigs and when there’s some breakdowns there is supposed to be help. It’s a team defense.

Switching on pick-and-rolls works well – if you have the players to make the scheme work. It requires guards with size and bigs with mobility. New York actually has a few players who can do it, at least somewhat: Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., Metta World Peace and Tyson Chandler.

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But switching requires both defenders being capable of executing. The Knicks don’t have enough players who can to do it often.

Really, the Knicks don’t have enough players who defend well in any scheme. I’m not sure how Woodson plans to tackle that one.

  1. drobstad - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    He just figured this out? Knicks have been switching every screen since Woodson got here.
    If I see Raymond Felton guarding the other teams center one more time I am going to punch the TV.

  2. rossthebosspalmer - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Who is Ron Artest?

    • norcalkingsfan - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      definitely isn’t andrea bargnani

    • money2long - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      the guy who had a bar fight in the palace

  3. jolink653 - Dec 27, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    This is just now coming to his attention? How about he encourages his players to fight through picks or go around him rather than to hand that player off to someone else, which creates mismatches all over the court. The switching also creates confusion, which leave the pick and roll wide open more often than not. I just don’t see how this can be fixed this season

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