Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Roadblock: Perimeter Defense
The New York Knicks shoot the three-pointer as often and as well as any team in the NBA. Ironically, the Knicks aren't particularly adept at defending the three, which has caused some problems of late.
Head coach Mike Woodson has put smaller lineups to work this season, with one of the most lethal being the grouping comprised of Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. However, according to 82games, that five-man unit allows 1.15 points per possession and has posted a plus/minus of plus-one in 88.7 minutes this season.
While that lineup can present matchup nightmares for opponents on the offensive end, the Knicks haven't had an answer for talented wings in recent weeks, and the team's recent trade of Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder won't help matters.
What's worse is that according to TeamRankings, the Knicks rank 23rd in the NBA in opponents' points from three-pointers.
To that point, in two ugly losses since the All-Star break, the Knicks have allowed the Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors to shoot 45.8 and 38.9 percent, respectively, from beyond the arc.
In addition to their collective failures attempting to guard the perimeter, the Knicks don't have a lockdown defender (Iman Shumpert needs time to grow) whom they can count on to defend athletically superior wings come playoff time.
In those games against Indiana and Toronto, Paul George and Rudy Gay both went off, as George piled up 27 points (4-of-9 from three) and Gay poured in 32 points of his own.