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Monday, December 17, 2012
Coach's Report: Defense needs to improve

By Jared Zwerling

Before the Rockets game, Mike Woodson said he hasn't liked the team's defense lately.

"Defense has kind of fallen a little bit and I attribute that a little bit because we haven't had a chance to practice," he said. "A lot things we're doing, we're doing on the fly from tape and film sessions and walkthroughs. If we can get some healthy bodies back, and get back out on the practice floor, we can start drilling some more defensively and get our rotations down."

Oddly enough, even though it's not a shortened season, the schedule has made it so where Woodson doesn't want to wear down his guys. He obviously has to be careful because of the older age of some of the players.

"It seems strange (that we're not practicing)," he said, "but it's like we're in a stretch right now where we're playing every other day."

Where the Knicks are most struggling on defense is actually not with rotations, but with their defense on isolation plays. Entering Monday night, they're worst in the NBA in isolation defense, allowing 0.924 points per isolation play. Overall, they're 16th in the league in defensive efficiency.

During their Nov. 23 win against the Knicks, the Rockets ran isolations on 12.2 percent of their plays -- one of the highest percentages by a Knicks opponent this season -- and they were very efficient, scoring 1.21 points per isolation.

The team's five worst isolation defenders are (in order): James White, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni and Rasheed Wallace. However, the sample size isn't significantly large.

MELO AND AMAR'E NOT ON THE SAME PAGE? TRY LIN AND HARDEN: Jeremy Lin and James Harden haven't played well together, mainly because both of them have needed the ball in their hands to thrive. Here are Harden’s efficiency rankings entering tonight with Lin on and and off he court:

Lin on court -- 104.6 defensive efficiency, 101.0 offensive efficiency and 41.6 percent shooting
Lin off court -- 97.8 defensive efficiency, 107.4 offensive efficiency and 46.3 percent shooting

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