Opening Tip: Coach 'em up!
May, 3, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsIn the middle of a 3-2 battle with Boston, what would you dial up as Knicks head coach?Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: If you're Mike Woodson, what would you tweak or change about your team to make sure the Knicks clinch the series on Friday night?
Close your eyes. Pretend, for a moment, you're Mike Woodson.
You've watched your team waste an opportunity to eliminate the Celtics two times in the last six days. And you've watched them do it in stunning fashion.
Your team has shot just 36.8 percent from the floor in the last two games. That number includes an unsightly 23 percent (12-for-52) from 3-point land. They hit 38 percent of their 3s in the first three games of the series.
You've watched the Celtics, on the other hand, hit 45 percent of their field goals and an eye-popping 43 percent of their 3s in the last two games.
"They're clicking right now and we've got to figure out how to get our mojo back," you say in an interview on ESPN radio Thursday.
But how do you make that happen, exactly?
Do you ask your guys to move the ball more?
A stagnant offense is no doubt part of the problem.
Your star, Carmelo Anthony, has missed 41 shots over the last two games (the most over a two-game span in the playoffs since Allen Iverson in the 2001 Finals). The majority of those misses have come in isolation.
Your All-Star was in isolation on 52 percent of his offensive plays in Game 5. He missed nine of his 12 shots in isolation, per Elias. Your leading scorer has shot an unsightly 29.8 percent from the field in isolation this series (46.3 percent on all other plays).
So you know the team needs to get the ball moving.
"It’s more about moving the ball and moving it side to side, because we’ve been loading up on one side too much. So we got to get that figured out," you tell reporters after Thursday's practice.
If your coaching staff doesn't, it could cost the Knicks dearly. Your team has coughed up a 3-0 series lead and faces a tough Boston team on its home floor on Friday night. Lose Game 6, and you're one loss away from making the wrong kind of NBA history: You'd be the coach of the first team to lose a series after going up 3-0.
"We've got to figure out how to put a 48-minute ball game together," you say.
So what's the game plan, coach?
Question: If you're Mike Woodson, what would you tweak or change about your team to make sure the Knicks clinch the series on Friday night?
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