Flex Appeal: The Series Changer

Tommy Dee

The Knicks world is caught up in the great impact of Chris Copeland and while it’s a great story and certainly valid, I noticed an Xs and Os wrinkle yesterday that, in my opinion, has the Knicks firmly back in this series heading back to Indiana for Game 6.

The adjustment of the series, and year, went to Mike Woodson and his staff last night. I will go on record saying if the Knicks continue to run the flex offense wrinkles in Game 6 they will force Game 7.

What is the flex offense and why  is it the perfect set for Playoff Melo? Here we go…

The flex is designed to get touches and baskets closer to the rim and with use of down screens (or pin downs) it allows for Melo to catch the basketball in spots where he’s more comfortable- at either elbow.

Look at Melo’s Game 3 and Game 4 shot charts. He struggled to get comfortable touches, which for scorers lead to more scoring opportunities, and thus had to settle for long shots outside the paint.

Melo Game 3
Game 3

Melo Game 4

 

Game 4

Now look at the adjustments thanks to adding flex cuts and down screens. Compare where his shots came and, more importantly, where his makes came…much closer to the basket and from mid-wing not mid baseline, the hardest angled shot on the floor.

Melo Game 5

The flex, in my opinion, is the perfect set to run against Roy Hibbert. All series the Knicks have tried to attack Hibbert when he’s in the paint. When the play is in front of him he’s been able to read the situation and anticipate chances to stop penetration before it gets to the rim. That’s what shot blockers do. They have to anticipate help and step in thus leaving their man after the offensive player commits. The beauty of the flex is that it forces Hibbert out of the paint and to either block having to follow Tyson Chandler. It also eliminates his angles as he will be forced most of the time under the rim and protecting against baseline cuts and not at the front of the rim. If Melo catches the ball in the paint off a flex cut he’s too strong for Paul George who has shown a propensity to be allergic to screens. The more screens he’s hit with the more physical the game becomes. Advantage Knicks on both sides.

Again, if Melo catches it deep and Hibbert helps on him the lob opportunities present themselves thus getting potential critical easy baskets for Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler, more specifically, aside from just pick and lob dunks from Ray Felton.

Speaking of Felton, he’s really good at curl elbow jumpers as well and whether off side pick and roll or pin downs, he is very good at knocking shots down on the right side elbow going left. Those makes allow for an easier trip into the paint as well as you saw last night.

Felton

More to the point, the flex is an impossible offense to consistently defend because it promotes constant movement until the point where the offense is happy with an isolation. In the Knicks case they will take Melo isos on the elbows all game long. That’s his office. Frank Vogel is on record saying that the Pacers won’t change what they do. Great. The Knicks shouldn’t either.

Keep running the flex and watch this series shift back in the Knicks favor quickly.




69 comments
Steven Cook
Steven Cook

With all the forward rentals that seem to be available at the deadline, I am worried about Vanek's value.  If teams think Snow's asking price is too high, they can turn to Moulson, Gaborik, Callahan, Ott and possibly Jagr and even players who have years left on their deals like St. Louis, Kessler or Gagner. 

orange2327
orange2327

Just a side note I sure hope TBL don't make that MSL/CALLY deal straight up!! Rags would be a dangerous team in the playoffs!!

orange2327
orange2327

Teddy Nolan's got buffalo playing with pride!! Just watched them beat the bruins with Matt moulson getting the tying goal and they win it in ot!!!!

Charlie Messing
Charlie Messing

Whatever they do, I hope they don't spend it on the team

Wayne Freeman
Wayne Freeman

Doesn't help the season ticket holder that has no one else on the team to see

dkdk
dkdk

If wang heard sooner he would have broken a bat over grabners knee in Sochi to save a few bucks. He would have stolen the bat though I presume.

Harry (PJP)
Harry (PJP)

And these dollars will fly right back into STH pockets yes?

Michael DiGirolamo
Michael DiGirolamo

Will the IOC give me my $$$$$ back on the last 11 home games????? Thought Not!!!!

isles23
isles23

@Steven Cook. Your not wrong but at the same time there are a lot of buyers out there as well. Also the price of some of the guys you mentioned doesn't appear to be much lower than that of Vanek. I do hate this waiting game though and really wish we knew what team gave that 'serious' offer along with what it included. Being the public really sucks sometimes lol.

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

@Steven Cook  I'll tell ya, this team is so far gone. Whatever success they had last year (minimal) has been obliterated and forgotten about. I loved this team as a kid, and I still love THAT team, but this team isn't worth the aggravation for me. In fact, if John Tavares were healthy and got traded, it wouldn't phase me. In fact, I'd be happy for him!

shlo
shlo

@orange2327 I used to be "concerned" when the rags got a big name to their line up,spent millions on "name" players. With the exception of the cup year ,it did not amount to much. Somehow they faltered at the end. It kept them in the media eyes as contenders, made few waves but they were still just an OK ream. They got lucky with goalies but never more than that. Their fans leave the game with bitter taste in their mouths ,not as bad as ours, but no real results.


So I stopped losing sleep over it.


I worry about my team, how to get them to turn around. If they hustle and play hard they'll win. (battle level speech anybody?)

dkdk
dkdk

Please, please, please keep him off the rags. A lot of TB based bloggers are writing about it too. It better not happen.

jepliberty
jepliberty

@orange2327

Watched that too, he should be scoring winning goals for his former [Isles] team.

dkdk
dkdk

Come back from the Olympics and win back to back nights! And by the way, Buffalo is playing a lot of kids, so let's put another snowwang myth to rest.

snowmustgo
snowmustgo

Don't worry, I'm sure they won't.

tag1
tag1

I heard Wang signed the Isles up for Obama care so JT isn't exactly getting the best care

Dk did you see in the paper today spike lee attacking the hipsters I love it when the lefties go at each other.

tag1
tag1

The rangers are battling for a playoff spot so I don't think they can afford to sit those guys the Sabres and the Isles can afford to sit the players they plan on trading.

Steven Cook
Steven Cook

I'm not sure how many buyers there are in this market.  There have not been many big deadline deals over the last few years, just a lot of rumors and speculation. 

Steven Cook
Steven Cook

If this team is not worth the aggravation for you, then why do you post often on this site?

orange2327
orange2327

I agree with MSL they could have a huge run in the playoffs!!

orange2327
orange2327

Yep and you know buffalos rebuild is legit ours is a sham!!!!

dkdk
dkdk

That was nice to read wasn't it. And now that Cuomo and DiBlasio are seemingly tense .....

dkdk
dkdk

I think if any team had a right to be pissed it is Vancouver. Kessler was healthy enough to play the rest of the Olympic sked but won't go as his nhl team is battling for a playoff spot.

shamwow
shamwow

@rmreturns  

You flatter too easily...

Now report back to Chuck like a good little sycophant.

Vicp73
Vicp73

@rmreturns  So what did i make up exactly? Lafontaine at least has the smarts to hire hockey people. Thats my point. As for Ted Nolan he's been getting praise from everyone in the hockey world for his work with Latvia, and his work with a young team in Buffalo. You can't tell me you didn't like the work he did for the Islanders in a short period

shamwow
shamwow

@Jason Zimmermann @rmreturns

That shill (RM) has a seething contempt for Lafontaine and Nolan, as both told Chuck where to stick his filthy stolen shareholder money...

Hell hath no fury like a lapdog off its leash chasing passing cars.

since72
since72

@orange2327 Maybe Vanek will sign with Buffalo in the off season (sarcasm).

Vicp73
Vicp73

@rmreturns @Jason Zimmermann  For the record Lafontaine isn't the GM. President of Hockey operations, who hired Ted Nolan to coach the team. Then after a long search for a GM hired Tim Murray. Murray has  many years as a scout plus 8 years as assistant Gm under his uncle Bryan Murray who knows a thing or two about building winners. So yeah i have alot more faith in Lafontaine 

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

@dkdk  Oh no, I know. Reinhart already won the Calder next year. I'll have to look at my records again, but I'm pretty sure he won the Norris next year, too.

dkdk
dkdk

Jason just give it time, we have Reinhart, and if he is as good as some are saying and can clone himself 11 times we will be very competitive in. 3 years.

Jason Zimmermann
Jason Zimmermann

@dkdk  Buffalo has anmNHL coach, NHL players, NHL front office. All the Islanders need is NHL stuff.

dkdk
dkdk

Orange it is only 8 years, please exhibit patience. Bailey is a mere pup with 400 games under his belt. We have Kabanov and Petrov growing.

tag1
tag1

You must be a hipster or a deblasio fan, you have my sympathy either way

jepliberty
jepliberty

@dkdk

2 Liberal sc..b.gs, trying to establish themselves as a king of NY.

dkdk
dkdk

Yeah I think you right. He seems to be very irked babysitting him.

tag1
tag1

I think Cuomo wishes Diblasio had lost he'd have less stress

jepliberty
jepliberty

@rmreturns

Hey rm, don't we have enough worries with our team, and we don't need to hear about the Rangers woes unless someone here wants to gloat.

orange2327
orange2327

I've heard of the playoffs!! Remember them well!!!

tag1
tag1

I'm sure the garden brass wants that extra playoff money especially since it looks like their basketball team isn't making the playoffs

dkdk
dkdk

Only if the priority is making the playoffs and not being fun to watch

tag1
tag1

That's eight possible points in a tight playoff race rm if they miss the playoffs by a few points there will be a uproar among their fans.

dkdk
dkdk

That's right I forgot about that one too

tag1
tag1

Price is out for Montreal also