Thursday, March 8, 2012
Knicks getting away from pick and roll
By Ernest Tolden
Fueled by the play of second-year point guard Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks went 8-1 from Feb. 4-19, and got back to .500 for the first time since Jan. 15.
Since then, the Knicks have dropped five of their last seven and at 18-21, are three games below .500 for the first time since Feb. 10.
In the last seven games, the Knicks have struggled establishing their pick and roll offense -- something they executed very well when winning eight of nine games.
From Feb. 4-19, New York ran pick-and-roll plays 18.7 percent of the time. That also allowed the Knicks to get away from running an isolation-dominated offense (14.7 percent of the plays) which had made up the most of their ball-handling plays this season. In their last seven games, the Knicks’ pick-and-roll percent has dropped to 12.1, despite their points per play in that offense increasing from 0.67 to 0.75.
In the meantime, the percent of their isolation plays has gone up to 15.3 percent, which also happens to coincide with the return of Baron Davis and Carmelo Anthony. This season, Davis and Anthony rank first and second, respectively, in the NBA in percentage of isolation plays.
Lin less effective in pick and roll
Lin’s breakout performance came against the New Jersey Nets on Feb. 4, scoring 25 points off the bench. Lin averaged 25.0 points on 50.9 percent shooting when the Knicks won eight of nine games. Since then, Lin’s overall production has decreased. In the last seven games, Lin has shot just 38.5 percent, and his scoring has dropped to 16.1 points per game.
Lin also has seen his pick-and-roll production decrease, averaging just 6.9 points on 36.8 percent shooting on such plays in the last seven games. When the Knicks went 8-1, Lin averaged 9.3 points and shot 44.1 from the field running the pick and roll.
Lin and the Knicks’ inability to run the pick-and-roll in the last seven games has prevented the point guard from scoring in the paint. After averaging 12.0 points in the paint and shooting 54 percent from Feb. 4-19, Lin has averaged 7.4 points on 42.6 percent shooting in the paint in his last seven games.