The Knicks’ offense has stagnated the last eight games, bogged down by too much isolation and too many jumpers. In order to alleviate that problem, coach Mike Woodson put J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert through a pick-and-roll crash course Tuesday in practice.
“Our offense has struggled somewhat in terms of how we were playing early in the year,’’ Woodson said. “We scored enough [Sunday against the Hawks]. … But I’ve got to get [Steve] Novak more involved. J.R. had a nice game rebounding from the Philly game, but I’ve got to get Novak some more touches somehow.’’If his two athletic guards can get to the rim, it will both take the pick-and-roll burden off Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni, and create shots for Novak.
“Those two guys have the capabilities of being pretty good pick-and-roll players, and that helps us. It can’t just be Raymond and Pablo,’’ Woodson said. “They’ve got to know their options. They’ve got to know when to drive and when to shoot it, when to be playmakers for their teammates.
Tommy DeeI’m been a huge proponent of more pick and roll with Melo/Stoudemire, but I also love the idea of getting Shumpert the ball with a screen “running downhill” to use a football reference so to speak. Smith with the ball isn’t a great option for me, but John Starks wasn’t a great decision maker either. But if he saw a lane he attacked it and scored many a basket at the rim because of his athleticism and fearlessness. You can also counter the screen if the defender cheats (see below).
If they can feature Smith and, say, Stoudemire in a two-man game isolated on the sidelines then do it. With Shumpert, I’d love to see him and Chandler try to find some chemistry at the top of the key in pick and roll situations.