“Hence that general is skilful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skilful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” — Sun Tzu
I loved this pic, which accompanied a fan post, Wither Anthony Randolph by flossy at Posting and Toasting in which the author wonders aloud about what can make Randolph more successful and less likely ot be a comic tragedy.
This version of the Knicks has been far more media friendly as Dolan has apparently and smartly loosened the reins on his team. Raymond Felton recently did a little fluffy “Knicks Diary” piece for AM New York. He didn’t say anything earth shattering or predict his 35 point game, but he did let us know how seriously he took his new role as a Knicks leader and community member. He wrote:
So far this season we’ve had some ups and downs, but one thing I’ve taken great pride in is being asked to be co-captain with Amar’e. I’ve made it a priority to lead this team by example, both on and off the court. I’m confident that once Amar’e and I get our one-two-punch rolling on the court, the rest of the team’s play will fall in line. I also like having the responsibility of getting the team to bond, so I try to put together dinners or Monday Night Football parties in our down time.
Some of the Knicks woes haven’t started with the Knicks, but are the result of the team’s inability to respond to smart defensive strategies. Earlier in the season, NBA Playbook recognized that Coach Tom Thibideau of the Bulls employed a fairly successful defensive strategy against Amar’e. Instead of placing the better defender face up against Amar’e, the Bulls relied on Joakim Noah as the help defender to double the Knicks most prolific scorer when he made his move. This was actually a brilliant move knowing that Amar’e is not the best passer once he makes his move to the basket and if he catches the ball too far out, he is liable to do too much and lose the ball. To date, the Knicks have not really fixed that problem by getting Amar’e the ball in better position, but it is harder to help and defend Amar’e when the Knicks mix it up by driving to the basket and hitting their tres and moving the ball around. Still defending Amar’e and employing more zone, for smaller squads, should be a successful strategy against the Knicks until they have a consistent #2 scoring option.
The current winning streak (which should be three by the time this is published) can easily hide the ills that were exposed during the Knicks six game winning streak, but remember it was not long ago when begging Carmelo Anthony to strip naked at half court and put on the Orange and Blue. For those like Peaceman, Anthony is a piece of the championship puzzle, but one writer has a different perspective based on the numbers that suggest Melo is a bad choice like a bad (Anthony Randolph) shot. In “A Sputtering Start Tests Knicks Patience,” Howard Beck concludes “Anthony is an elite scorer but a below-average playmaker and a mostly indifferent defender. He can provide 25 points a night and a go-to option in the final minutes of a tight game, but he would not give the Knicks what they need most: a player who elevates everyone around him.”
Before David Lee became beef jerky for Wilson Chandler, he was matter of factly telling reporters how he was happy finally playing in his natural position. In an interview with Hoops Addicts, when the Warriors were 4-2, Lee gushed about finally having “some help” in the form of two explosive guards (Monta Ellis and Steph Curry) and a bona fide center (Andris Biedrins). Lee, forgetting that his Knicks started the 08-09 season with a 4-2 record, claims he never started a season on as positive a note as he did with the Warriors. Perhaps he made that comment because he’s mad at the Knicks or he wasn’t a starter then, just a guy begrudgingly given starter minutes by a new coach. or maybe he doesn’t remember it as a positive moment or movement since Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford would be traded shortly.