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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Woody: Switching isn't the problem

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- Plenty of things went wrong for the Knicks in their 23-point loss to Brooklyn on Monday. But switching on screens wasn’t one of them, according to Mike Woodson.

“Switching didn’t hurt us the other night. We switched 37 times. They scored 8 times, when you go back and pull the tape and go over it. So that's kind of misleading,” Woodson said before tip-off of Wednesday's Knicks-Sixers game. “Again, you go around the league, you watch games, everybody switches in the league. You’re going to have to at some in time because that’s just how -- physical play, sometimes won’t allow you stay man on man because of pick and roll. You’re getting knocked off. Somebody’s got to switch or either you trap it. But whatever you decide you’re going to do you have to do it with force and you’ve got to do it consistently for 48 minutes.”

Switching on screens has become the topic du jour around the Knicks this week. Tyson Chandler said after Monday’s loss to Brooklyn that the Knicks were “outschemed” by the Nets.

Asked about the Knicks' habit of switching on screens, Chandler said: “I don't want to switch. I personally don't like it. You come with a defensive plan and then every guy kind of mans up and takes his responsibility. I think switching should always be your last resort."

Perhaps taking a subtle dig at Chandler, Woodson pointed out before Wednesday's game that no one was talking about switching during the Knicks’ five-game winning streak. Chandler was out with bronchitis for all but one quarter of the streak.

“I don’t think anybody complained in the five-game stretch. Everybody in the league switches and a guy gets knocked off you’re not going to just go in and lay it up. Somebody's got to defend the ball,” Woodson said. “So I think when you’re losing you find ways of trying to figure things out, [coaches] … hear a gripe from players, you hear gripes from coaches and inside the organization, outside the organization with you guys. But at the end of the day, you’ve still got to win games. No matter what you do -- if you switch pick and rolls, if you trap pick and rolls, if you play zone -- you’ve got to do it with pace and you’ve got to do it for 48 minutes, whatever you decide to do.”

The Knicks' policy -- whatever it is -- doesn't seem to be working. According to Synergy Sports, the team ranks last in the NBA in points per play allowed to both the ball handler and screener on pick-and-roll plays.

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