Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Obviously, the Knicks' 3-2 lead in their first-round series against the Celtics means Melo and Co. still have a massive edge overall. A loss doesn't end the Knicks' season.
That's not true for the Celtics.
But at the same time, the strategic advantage in this series has swung in favor of the Celtics, and it's now the Knicks who have to adjust.
A heavy emphasis on isolation basketball has been both a blessing and a burden for the Knicks. When their shots are falling, Anthony and Smith look unstoppable in one-on-one situations. But when the Celtics have made those looks more difficult, as they have in Games 4 and 5, Mike Woodson's offense hasn't had a viable Plan B.
(And no, passing the ball around the perimeter and hoping a defender bites on a pump fake is not a viable Plan B.)
New York needs to find a way to re-incorporate a few pick-and-roll sets back into its attack, if only to give the Celtics something else to think about.
It's possible that Tyson Chandler's injury is preventing him from being an offensive factor, but he's playing significant minutes (34 in Game 5), so it seems like he should be capable of pairing with Raymond Felton for a few of the duo's long-lost lobs.
Frankly, it almost doesn't matter what new offensive wrinkles the Knicks throw at the Celtics.
But they have to try something because isolation sets simply aren't working anymore. Anthony shot just 8-of-24, Smith was 3-of-14 and Felton—the only other reliable offensive threat—isn't a valuable distributor when he's looking for his own buckets.
New York registered just 13 assists on 32 made baskets in Game 5. That'll have to change in Game 6 or Boston might be coming back to Madison Square Garden for Game 7 with a shot to make history.