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Friday, December 7, 2012
Knicks take advantage of flaw in Heat's D

By Ryan Feldman & Nate Jones
ESPN Stats & Information

If "live by the three, die by the three" is the New York Knicks mantra, they're doing plenty of living against the Miami Heat.

The Knicks shot 18-of-44 on 3-point attempts against the Heat on Thursday after shooting 19-of-36 on 3-pointers against Miami earlier this season. The Knicks are the first team in NBA history to make at least 18 3-pointers in consecutive games against an opponent, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Perhaps the Knicks know by now that the Heat have trouble defending their outside jumpers. They've only made at least 18 3-pointers twice this season, and both of those games were against the Heat.

The Knicks rely on jump shots more than any other NBA team this season. They score 47 points per game on jumpers, representing 46 percent of their points.

The Knicks have done a tremendous job passing the ball and finding open shooters on the perimeter. They've scored more points off catch-and-shoot jumpers this season than any other team (525). And 149 of their 188 catch-and-shoot jumpers are 3-pointers. On Thursday, they scored 32 catch-and-shoot points, including 10 of their 18 3-pointers.

Not only have they attempted the most catch-and-shoot jump shots this season, but they're also shooting them at the highest effective field-goal percentage (57).

Plain and simple, the Knicks are deadly from the perimeter and they have lots of shooters. Steve Novak, Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Ronnie Brewer, Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace all rank in the top 100 of the league this season in catch-and-shoot points.

Novak is tied for second with 119 catch-and-shoot points, which accounts for all but 20 of his points this season. All but one of Novak's catch-and-shoot jumpers are 3-pointers. He has only dribbled the ball on one of his 40 3-pointers this season.

Novak took advantage with 18 points against the Heat, one off his season high. He has scored at least 17 four times this season, and two of those games came against Miami.

Clearly, the Knicks are a dangerous outside shooting team. So it makes sense that when they meet one of the worst teams at defending perimeter jumpers, they'd have an advantage.

The Heat tend to leave shooters open. They've allowed the fourth-most unguarded catch-and-shoot jump shots this season. They're only contesting 31 percent of their opponents' catch-and-shoot jumpers, the fifth-lowest percentage in the league.

Overall, the Heat are allowing the fourth-highest effective field-goal percentage on jump shots (48).

It seems as though the Heat are daring teams to shoot 3-pointers. They're allowing more than 25 3-point attempts per game this season, the most in the league.

With that philosophy, it's no coincidence that the Knicks -- a prolific shooting team -- have the Heat's number.

Thursday's 20-point loss was the Heat's worst home loss with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all playing together.