Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Woody wants to limit pick-and-roll switching
By Jared Zwerling
NEW YORK -- As part of Mike Woodson's accountability game plan, the Knicks' interim head coach wants his players to man up on the defensive end. That means exactly that: guarding their man.
"I thought early on we were switching and we're still doing some switching," Woodson said, "but I'm trying to hold guys more accountable, especially out on the floor in pick-and-roll defense. The point guards, the twos, when they're defending pick-and-rolls, need to be more accountable guarding the ball.
"During this three-game stretch, we're really doing it. We just got to continue to push and grow in that area because pick-and-roll basketball in our league is tough. I mean, it's the hardest thing to defend."
So far, so good. According to ESPN Stats & Info, in Mike D'Antoni's last 10 games as Knicks' head coach, when the team went 2-8, they allowed the P&R ball-handler to score 0.814 points per possession (40.0 FG%) and the P&R roll man to score 0.672 points per possession (32.0 FG%). But in Woodson's last three games, all wins, the P&R ball-handler scored 0.549 points per possession (27.3 FG%) and the P&R roll man, while scoring 0.706 points per possession, shot 28.6 percent.
Speaking to Woodson' point about how the backcourt needs to pick up their pick-and-roll defense, he said Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields have impressed him so far in that area.
"Jeremy Lin, I think he's done great on the ball. Landry's been great on the ball for us," Woodson said. "Melo's been pushing in terms of, not pick-and-roll, but just getting over screens and playing wing denial. I mean, it's been really a total team effort. Everybody's been responsible for the three-game winning streak."