The Pick, The Roll, and the Frustating Question

Something's been bothering me.

We have two incredibly gifted offensive players (Amare and Melo) who would seem to excel in the pick and roll.

But after the Melo trade, I can't ever remember the Knicks clearing one side of the floor, and letting Amare and Melo run a pick and roll on the other side.

We saw lots of other combinations: pnr with Billups and Amare, pnr with Billups and Sheldon, pnr with TD and Turiaf, pnr with Melo and Turiaf, etc.

Yet the play that seems like the most obvious and logical play (PNR with Melo as the ballhandler and Amare as the pick-setter) never seemed to happen!


Jump like Landry Fields biting on a pump fake.

First of all, we the know the play works because we see other teams run it all the time:

Boston runs it with Pierce and Garnett (very similar skill-sets with Melo and Amare)

Dallas runs it with Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki

Portland runs it with LaMarcus Aldrige and (whoever isn't injured that day)



The point is, if you have two guys like Amare and Melo who are big and strong enough to finish at the rim with contact, and they can also have excellent mid-range jumpers, you should be able to tear teams up just by clearing one side of the floor and letting them run a two man game. No gimmicks, no decoys, no slipping picks. Just do it and force the defense to pick its poison.


Why doesn't D'Antoni let them do this?


Think about the different outcomes of this play:

(These scenarios assume the Melo is the primary ball handler, and Amare comes to set the pick)

1. Amare's man steps up to cut off Melo, and Melo feeds Amare for the dunk.

2. Amare's man stays with Amare, and Melo uses his superior strength and first step to get to the rim and score.

3. Amare sets the pick and floats out to the elbow... pick n pop, Melo dishes to Amare for a wide open 15-footer.

4. Melo's man goes under the screen, Melo rises and hits the mid-range jumpshot (like shooting a layup for him).

5. A third defender is forced to leave his man and rotate under the rim to prevent a layup, and the ball gets kicked out our perfectly placed snipers on the perimeter (or they could make a late cut into the paint for the layup).


I can't think of a single good reason why we never saw this.

Melo has shown the ability to thread passes through tight spaces, so don't tell me about his lack of vision or ability to pass the ball.

It's mind-boggling. The most I ever saw, was Amare and Melo finding themselves in pnr's (almost by accident it seemed) in the middle of the floor with other Knicks close by, and defensive players packing the paint.


Sombeody help me (Gian maybe). If you know your X's and O's, please explain to me why we have not let Amare and Melo play a two man game on a cleared side of the court.

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