So far, the Knicks have allowed a lot of assisted buckets at the rim.

Here's a stat (from, yes, a very small two-game sample size) that I just noticed and twat about: Knick opponents are connecting on 84 percent of their attempts at the rim and getting assisted on 71 percent of those makes. Those numbers are both quite high, suggesting that the Knicks have allowed teams to very efficiently make entry passes that lead to easy buckets (New York is middle-of-the-pack in terms of number of attempts allowed at the rim). We probably didn't need advanced stats to tell us that, but I thought it was noteworthy particularly because of that high assisted rate. To me, that's indicative of the Knicks' tendency to 1. Allow guards to penetrate and attract help and 2. Allow people to pass out of double teams. Both of those mistakes lead to Tyson Chandler and friends straying from the paint to help, allowing folks to glide to the rim and get fed easy buckets. The numbers must also be heavily swayed by the number of easy transition buckets the Knicks have given up in the first two games. (This Synergy breakdown at GSoM is probably helpful.)

It seems to me that Chandler has struggled, but that's due in large part to his services being required elsewhere because Toney Douglas and Landry Fields and the rest of the perimeter defenders can't contain ball-handlers off the dribble. Sort of a domino effect, ya know? That's just my impression, though.

Anyway, this is one of many realms in which the Knicks have struggled through the first two games (and yes, again, our scope is limited). It's something to keep an eye on tonight against the Lakers, although they're not exactly flush with penetrating guards. (If Derek Fisher and Steve Blake require help defense below the free throw line, I may cry.)

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