By Ryan Wallace
I was watching some of the Celtics pre season game against Armani Jeans over the weekend and Rajon Rondo was showing an emphasis on shooting his jumper when defenders went “under” their pick and roll. Rondo seemed to relish this and made a mockery of what Armani was trying to do defensively. Got me thinking where the Knicks will stack up with their Point Guard by numbers approach versus, arguably, the Top Two point guards in the league in Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo. Clearly the Knicks have stacked their spending in the front-court. Thus they have a huge advantage versus the other teams in the Atlantic, down low, in my opinion. One of the Knicks goals of winning the Atlantic will come down to how they will be able to counter Williams and Rondo in their games.
Pick and Roll defense by point guards comes down to scouting reports. For every game,given the personnel, you know whether you will be playing someone “under” or “over”. Watching the Knicks practice yesterday on MSG the one drill they focused on was pick and roll defense. To me the Knicks season on defense will come down to whether the Knicks point guards will be effective chasing point guards “over” pick and rolls. They have a significant strength in defending the paint this year. Forcing the opponents point guards to drive the lane rather then shoot uncontested jumpers from the outside will be a major factor this season.