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Following an impressive 2013 season, Mike Woodson has seemed reluctant to double down on what worked for the Knicks.
One year ago, the Knicks burst out of the gate to a 6-0 record thanks to a crisply efficient attack predicated on precise spacing, prescient ball movement and knockdown perimeter shooting. By the end of the regular season, the Knicks boasted the league’s third-most efficient offense at near 109 points per 100 possessions.
Then the playoffs happened.
Against the Boston Celtics and Indian Pacers, the Knicks saw their offensive efficiency plummet to 98.6. One of the reasons: New York strayed away from small ball.
Over 12 postseason games, the Knicks were at their best offensively when wielding a unit of Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Anthony and Chandler. The productivity (101.2) wasn’t quite what it was during the regular season, and Indiana would eventually render the argument moot by outmuscling New York’s small-ball lineup and sending their defense to a woeful 112.2 defensive rating. Still, the Knicks had at least forged a coherent offensive philosophy.
Fast-forward to today, and the debate still rages: What gives New York its best chance of making a run come spring—going small or big?