Fanpost 3-7 F

I have no real title or subject or theme for this fanpost, but just felt like rambling.  Lets see what I can come up with.

I think in the first few games of the year, the Knicks were really psyched and playing with a great deal of concentration on defense.  But their offense has been sputtering.  They're missing threes, and it seems like everyone on the team, not just Gallo, is hitting below their normal percentage from beyond the arc.  It's a problem of offensive flow - it aint happening.

I like D'antoni in a lot of ways, but I do think he is a coach that got used to operating with Nash as his point guard, and I think he has trouble adjusting to not having Nash as his point guard.  I think that Duhon, Toney, and now Felton are subconciously or conciously trying to be Steve Nash.  This is probably made even worse by the fact that Amar'e is now on the team.

I think Felton has a lot of strengths, but I think perhaps running the pick and roll isn't really one of them.  He may be more of a drive and kick type of point guard.  Which is probably true of Toney as well.  I think Walsh was really concentrating on getting defensive guys, which is perhaps why he went with Felton over Ridinour.  But we may have duplicated Toney Douglas' skills a bit and found ourselves without a pick and roll guy.  Suddenly, there doesn't seem to be a backup point guard in there.

But all is not lost.  There's a lot of talent here.  If Felton's strength is the drive and kick, then they have to let him play drive and kick, and work Amar'e's game in.  In terms of the pick and roll, they've got to find another guy on the roster (or perhaps off it) that's already good at running it.  Maybe Landry Fields, maybe Gallo...?  Rautins perhaps?  I don't know, but they've got to let Felton play Felton's game.

I think what we are seeing is frustration on offense that now seeping into their defensive game, especially without Turiaf on the floor as their defensive leader.

My prescription?

1. Let Felton play drive and kick.  Don't bother trying to make him learn to run a Nash pick and roll at this point.

2. Develop a play where Felton hands the ball to Fields or Gallo, who would then initiate the pick and roll with Amar'e while Felton goes to the perimeter for the kickout.

3. When you sub in Toney for Felton, have him play that drive and kick game too. 

4. Might want to think about bringing Rautins in for Fields.  I have a feeling Rautins might get the pick and roll, plus can shoot from outside.  But maybe Bill Walker can fill this role.

Chandler's an interesting case in this scenario.  As a slasher with a suspect three pointer and not much in the way of playmaking abilities, he's not going to help you in the pick and roll much, so with him in the game it seems your offensive flow might be compromised - but he can definitely get you a bucket, and he can D up.  Subbing him for Amar'e is a decent move but where do you play Randolph?  I like playing Randolph at center but with Turiaf and Mozgov, how does that work?  Maybe playing Chandler at the 3 with Randolph and Turiaf up front might work.  In fact, pairing Randolph and Turiaf when Amar'e is out of the game might be good right now, because they've been teammates for a while and familiarity is something the Knicks don't have a lot of at this point.

Bottom line - forget about your old girlfriend Nash and play to Felton's and Toney's strengths.    I know, those bright blue eyes with one of them skewing off to the side just so, and the long flaxen stringy hair.... it's haunting the dreams of our coach and our power forward.  But meanwhile, Felton may not be a beauty queen with a genius pick and roll IQ, but gosh darn it, he's got a lot to offer and if we don't start recognizing it he's going to run off into someone else's arms.  That someone could be Eddy Curry.  Think about it.

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