Ball movement has disappeared from Knicks basketball

Harris Decker

Carmelo AnthonyThe Knicks are one of the few teams in the NBA that can make a double-overtime win feel like a loss.

Last night, they beat the Bucks, but at what cost?

Tyson Chandler returned to the lineup after missing most of the season but was worked through over 36 minutes. Topping those 36 minutes were Carmelo Anthony’s career-high 55 minutes. Anthony played the entire fourth quarter and every minute of overtime.

In the win, which is feeling more and more like a loss, ball movement was non-existent and led to a ton of isolation basketball. Anthony scored 29 points, with Beno Udrih kicking in 21 and J.R. Smith adding 19. The issue was almost no off-the-ball movement. When Smith or Anthony got the ball, it was almost certain that they would end of hoisting up a shot. Often times, these shots were errant threes. Smith and Anthony combined to take 24 threes, making nine of them.

It’s hard to say with any certainty why the ball movement has disappeared. Could it be that Raymond Felton is a better point guard than we’re giving him credit for?

There were moments during last nights game when Chandler was walking around aimlessly, trying to set screens and get people open while the rest of the team ran around like chickens with their heads cut off.

At this point, I think it’s on the coach.

Without more ball movement, good teams like the Pacers and Heat are going to destroy the Knicks. Even the Bucks figured out the method to beat them and came within a few seconds of doing so.

If you take Anthony out of the game, it forces other guys to beat you. On the Knicks there is no other guy.

Smith, Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani have been those guys in the past, but right now, they are not. It will be interesting to see which of these guys can step up in the next few weeks to take some of the heat off Anthony.




14 comments
cole3244
cole3244

passing and ball movement should always take precedent over dribbling, that is bb 101 and it seems few if any on this knicks team either realize this or fail to do whats necessary to be competitive and create open shots. 

iso and one on one only lead to failure as our record & poor shot selection indicates.

will1225
will1225

Ball movement is meaningless when guys like Shump, Bargiani, Felton, Melo (he does it less then the others), JR, Udrich, MWP and Prig miss wide open jumpers.

These are NBA players who get wide open looks at the basket and they are bricking the shot far more often them not. The ball movement is the same as it was last year only last year the team was hitting the open shots.

I have not seen a team miss so many wide open momentum swinging three point shots in my life. Perfect example was Monday night against the wizards as the Knicks were on the break with numbers and Melo set JR up with a WIDE OPEN look on the wing (I mean no one was within ten feet of him) and JR shot it in rhythm with good form and the crowd was ready to explode but the shot misses. The Wizards get the rebound and push the ball up and Martell Webster gets the same look that JR got on the other end and he swished. Six point swing with the Knick player missing a wide open look while the opposition gets the same wide open look and cans it.

Woody deserves to be fired because of his numerous faults but the players missing wide open look after wide open look after ball movement are doing him zero favors.

cj1786
cj1786

You make an often overlooked point about ball movement in that people need to be moving and getting open to make ball movement work.  Melo and JR take about of heat for not moving the ball but often times if you watch, there is no one to move the ball too.  No one is moving.  Last night for instance, how many times did Melo look to move the ball, only too see his only option was to simply just kick it back up top.  All that does is each shot clock, at which point they just give the ball back to him and then hes forced to take a forced shot with the clock running down.  Point of all this being, 'ball movement' is a team thing, everybody plays a part.  Its not just about JR or Melo holding the ball. 

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Woody has his faults for sure, but some of his players are essentially uncoachable. They do what they do and Woody has to try to adapt his plan around that.

jeandd323
jeandd323

The definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. 


It is on the coach at this point for his failure to :

call play during games

call pay in crunch time

demand ball movement from the team

play his best players based on game conditions

show situational awareness and game management during critical part of the games


Once Woodson comment after the Washington wizard debacle said it all - quote "The game was moving too fast at this point" ... It should be fired just for that comment alone.

and1buckets
and1buckets

These guys are too cool for all that "movement without the ball" stuff. Loses be damned.

johneco
johneco

I put it on the players.

We're not a good ball movement team to begin with.

And we're missing our two best passers.

Our remaining players, whatever other strengths and weaknesses they have, are not good passers, they're mainly finishers who need to be set up.


denelor
denelor

Kind of a stupid stat to combine JR's 5 for 17 on 3s and Melos 4-7.  One is a fantastic number (Melo's 4-7) the other is awful (JR's 5-17).  


It makes no sense and tells no story.  The story is JR and his continually awful basketball sense.  He has amazing basketball talent and absolutely zero basketball IQ.  His biggest talent is to drive to the rim and he shoots 17 threes.  Melo's 4-7 on threes has nothing to do with that, or with ball movement.  7 three point attempts from your #1 scorer, who shoots alot, is nothing noteworthy.  

solar_lion
solar_lion

@cj1786 Offense definitely needs more dimensions to it. I hardly remember seeing picks for back cuts, stagger screens, pin downs.  But that requires actual coaching. Oh dear Woody you block head.

denelor
denelor

@Knicks_Fanatic Two points.  


They coached this exact same bunch of players with the same bunch of coaches last year to a relatively dominant season.  It invalidates your "uncoachable" point somewhat, unless you're talking about the new guys.  Woody coached the return players just fine last year.  


Second point:  Woody can't adapt anything to anything.  You could see it at points last year and during the playoffs and in pretty much every game this year.  He hasn't adapted his style to his players' strengths.  He can't adapt in game to the flow of the game (See the 1000 times JR has shot 0 for 150 and still closed out the game or the dozens of times he's failed to change the defensive sets to try to cover players torching the Knicks). 

jeandd323
jeandd323

@denelorIf JR driving  to the basket and taking  people off the dribble  would do a lot of good to the  Knicks. Instead, he settles for a lot of awful 3-pointer in key situations and commit dumb turnovers which kill  the momentum of games. At this point, Tim Hardaway should playing more. His basket ball IQ is way higher than Smith.

By the way, what is happening with Shump shots? Is he tanking on purpose to avoid a trade?

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@denelor 

Last year we had some ball movers and better 3 point shooters. This year, not so. JR and Melo are going play ISO and shoot. D'Antoni tried to change that and Melo just refused to do it. Woody knows what side his bread is buttered. He likes his job and wants to keep it. He lets Melo do what he wants. He has little to no control over JR.

johneco
johneco

I don't deny Woody has the faults you list.  But I can come right back at you with the same argument you're using.  Woody was a good enough coach last year to get us to 54 wins with the same players, and despite his faults.  You can't pin this all on him.  Key players have been injured and out of form.