Harris DeckerLast year, the formula was pretty simple: Let Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith break down defenses while Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Iman Shumpert and Steve Novak sat outside and waited to hit threes.
The formula resulted in the Knicks being the best outside shooting team in the league. They hit 891 threes while ranking fifth in the league in three point shooting percentage. They were simply incredible in that regard.
This season, we’ve seen a lot of the same. Or, at least, the Knicks are attempting to use the same strategy. Against the Pacers, Anthony was 3-for-3 from behind the arc. The rest of the team was a combined 1-for-16, or roughly 6.3 percent. Shumpert and Smith were each 0-for-3 and worst of all, Tim Hardaway Jr. was 0-for-5.
If one player gets cold, it’s easy for a team to overcome it. But when you’re facing a team like the Pacers, who play a smothering defense, you can’t slip into the trap of letting the entire team fire away from the arc.
Thursday night, this spell hit the Knicks, combining with the Pacers season-high 117 points, to equal the teams second loss in two games.
Friday night, they take on the Clippers at home. It will be a pressure-packed game with the Knicks in desperate need of a win to turn things around.