David Fizdale on Knicks' Isolation Offense: No One's 'B---hing' About Rockets

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorNovember 15, 2019

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale gestures on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Mavericks in an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

The 2-9 New York Knicks are last in the Eastern Conference in part because of their league-worst offensive rating

That naturally calls the Knicks' proclivity for isolation basketball into question, and head coach David Fizdale offered the following response on the subject before his team's Thursday home game versus the Dallas Mavericks:

The New York Knicks isolate on 7.4 percent of their possessions, which ranks ninth in the Association. The Houston Rockets are far and away first in that mark at 18 percent, which works well for their No. 3 scoring offense.

Fizdale further clarified that the Knicks must have "consistent ball movement" to achieve "true success."

Of course, the Rockets have 2017-18 NBA MVP James Harden, the master of isolation basketball who also happens to score 38.2 points per game. Houston is also fortunate enough to have the 2016-17 NBA MVP in Russell Westbrook, who complements Harden's scoring efforts with 21.4 points per contest.

The Knicks do not have MVP-level talent to successfully pull off isolation basketball and score "1,000 points per game," a fact Fizdale seemingly acknowledged when he said the Knicks need to have more ball movement.

But the bottom line is the Knicks' offense is stagnant largely because of the team's personnel group, which is last in the NBA with a 44.9 field-goal percentage on two-pointers, per Basketball-Reference.

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That number is inflated by center Mitchell Robinson's 71.8 percent mark, as no rotation regular averaging 20 or more minutes per game is shooting better than 42.4 percent from the field.

Simply put, the Knicks are not a good shooting team, and that may stay the same regardless of whether the team plays more isolation basketball or does a better job sharing the rock.


Statistics via NBA.com unless otherwise noted.