The New York Knicks need to figure it out.
After a brutal 110-90 loss on Saturday night to the Atlanta Hawks, the Knicks will travel to Detroit to face the Pistons in a Tuesday-night game. Sitting at 3-6, the Knicks need to get back on track right now if they don’t want their fans and owner to completely lose it.
Tyson Chandler remains out, which has really hurt this team. But that is not the sole reason for their struggles. Their defense has been bad, but their offense has been worse.
The Knicks are averaging just 94.3 points per game, while allowing 99.7 points per game. The Knicks do not seem to be putting any effort into their games and if they want to get a win tonight, there are a few things they have to change.
I said it was not going to work and it hasn’t. J.R. has shot 11-of-44 since being thrown into the starting lineup. His 25-percent shooting as a starter (22-percent for the whole year) really is killing the Knicks.
Woodson has suggested that Smith may be returning to the bench and if he does, it will be Woodson’s best move of the year.
J.R. is in a shooting funk, but he will come out of it and he will bring his shooting percentage up. Until he does though, Woodson has to realize J.R. needs to spend some more time on the bench.
Run the Ball
The Knicks love to “play small,” however nothing about the way they play is how to “play small." The Knicks score just 10.3 fast break points per game and scored just three in their game against Atlanta on Saturday.
Their lineups always consist of players who can run and score in transition, yet they never run the ball. Against the Pistons, who have one of the biggest front lines in the league, the Knicks need to run.
The Knicks half-court offense has been terrible and they will not be able to improve it against this huge Pistons team. With Andre Drummond (7’0”), Greg Monroe (6’11”) and Josh Smith (6’9”) clogging the paint on defense, the Knicks are going to be in serious trouble.
They are bad at rebounding and will lose that battle tonight. If they go with a big lineup as Woodson suggested they might, it would be a mistake. The Knicks need to stop trying to match up with other teams and instead make other teams match up with them. Imagine how easy it is to play against a small team who does not run or move the ball?
Play Toure’ Murry
The Knicks have 24-year-old, defensive-minded, high-energy guard just waiting for an opportunity. Point guards have tortured the Knicks this year, especially in the last three games. Most recently it’s been Jeff Teague (twice), Jeremy Lin and even Shelvin Mack. Yes, Shelvin Mack from Butler actually dominated the Knicks on Saturday night.
With Raymond Felton expected to miss tonight’s game, Murry could finally get his chance. The former Wichita State guard would be the perfect guy to stop the point guard dominance of opponents.
Murry has not played more than four minutes in a game yet this season, but hopefully tonight will be different. If Murry plays enough minutes he will make an impact, if he doesn’t then Brandon Jennings will toy with the Knicks’ defense.
New York needs to get back on track soon and tonight could be a chance to do that. If they continue to play their slow, “small-ball” offense then they will not.
There is always a chance Carmelo Anthony can go off and have a huge night that carries the Knicks to a victory, but that is not a way to consistently compete. If the Knicks seriously want to compete and become a better team, they have a long way to go.