Tommy DeeWe talked about what adjustments Mike Woodson needed to make in prepping for game 2 and the first one was making sure to reel JR. Smith in. During the midst of a heavy Pacers run late in the second quarter, Smith pulled up for a short shot that clanged off iron. Without hesitation, Woodson pointed to Jason Kidd to enter the game and close the last 2 minutes. The result on the scoreboard from the move was that neither team scored a basket and the Knicks took a 47-42 lead in the half. A small detail, but one that sent a pretty sound and loud message to Smith.
“If you miss a shot that I don’t like I will take you out.”
This is something that Knicks fans haven’t been accustomed to. Earlier in the half Woodson was seen SCREAMING at Smith after JR did something to draw his ire.
JR needs this and, again, it was the first and most important adjustment Woodson had to make in Game 2. Another adjustment (or lack there of in this case) was the idea of continuing to attack Roy Hibbert in the middle. To me, it’s like a running game in football. You have to pound the ball to have offensive balance and that opens up other options. The Knicks did just that from jump street.
Two other major factors was keeping Lance Stephenson off the defensive boards (just 3 in 24 minutes) and defending the perimeter on DJ Augustin with length. Augustin, who had 16 points on just 6 attempts from the field on Sunday was held to just 2 field goals.
All in all a great game in a big spot for Woodson who frankly didn’t have his team singularly focused in game 1. If Iman Shumpert continues his stellar play, the ability for Woodson to bench JR when he loses focus becomes that much easier of a decision.