Do Knicks Need More from Novakaine?

The biggest issue that Novak faces compared to Smith is that he needs assistance getting open. But Woodson’s not having Novak run off down screens and things of that matter like a shooter who also has midrange ability. Novak can work off curls, but he’s being used as mostly a stationary gunner from the baseline corner, especially because the focal points in the offense are the pick-and-roll, Anthony’s post-ups and Smith’s scoring. 

Of course, it’s obviously early in the season, and the Knicks are playing well doing what they’re doing. But if Novak continues his dismal streak, don’t be surprised if Woodson backtracks to what he said several times last season, “I need to do a better job of helping Steve.” 

That starts now. Woodson can’t afford to have Novak disappear once again in the playoffs, especially as the team is poised to make a deeper run.

Jared Zwerling, ESPN New York

Brian DiMenna

After 17 points in the Knicks’ opener against the Heat, Steve Novak has been relatively quiet in the next four games, but I’m not convinced it’s anything to really be that concerned about. Obviously, you have to like Novak’s shooting, and getting him open looks from deep can definitely be a weapon, but it’s also kind of a luxury item in my mind. His play isn’t as essential, as say J.R. Smith.

I tend to look at a guy like Novak as someone whose hot shooting could steal you some wins you might otherwise not get, but I’m not so sure that Novak being a non-factor in the playoffs would be something New York “can’t afford.” None of which is to say, that Novak is not a nice weapon, and Mike Woodson should certainly do what he can to see if he can free him up for some open looks, but I wouldn’t go crazy about it either when everything else is operating so efficiently.

I don’t know, to me Novak’s like the pickle that comes with your sandwich, albeit a really fresh and delicious one, but still not the reason you did the ordering in the first place. It’s like, “Oh nice, this tasty sandwich comes with a little dill surprise! How nice!” Although, I suppose at 4-years and $15 million, that’s one pretty expensive pickle.

Or maybe I just need to get lunch.

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