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How To Survive The Chandler / Jeffries Absence

We've already had it confirmed that Jeffries won't play tomorrow against the Bucks. Chandler is a maybe, but honestly, a hamstring injury is no joke. Got to rest that thing, and rest it good, to be 100% by the end of the season. And since the wrist also badly needs rest, I'd almost be in favor of shutting Tyson down for a few games and making a go of it without him.

Now, I realize, that without Chandler's D anchoring the middle, it puts us in severe danger of losing a bunch of games and heading to lotteryville where we can have the extreme pleasure of watching our pick go to the Rockets. Unless we win the lottery and get the #1 pick, which could happen.

But let's not think about that. Let's talk about what we should do if our two interior defenders miss, say the next 2 games.. or 5 games... or more..

This article is a good breakdown of the offensive efficiency of various Knick lineups. One of the main things it says is that Lin/Anthony, Lin/Stoudemire, and Lin/Anthony/Stoudemire lineup combinations have not been scoring efficiently. The other main thing it says is that Lin/Novak lineups have been scoring very efficiently.

That passes the eye test. To me, Lin's best chemistry so far has been with Novak, Jeffries, and Chandler. Of those guys only one remains, so I think that the Novak fellow should be the guy we put into the starting lineup and Lin share the floor with as much as possible. We all love Jorts and Jorts might be center-bulky and we know Jorts has a shooting touch. And he's probably our best remaining interior defender. But lets be real, Jorts is inexperienced and hasn't shown that he can consistently be an outside threat. On the other hand, we know Novak can and will nail Lin-assisted three pointers.

That leaves us with an undersized, defense challenged lineup of Lin - Shump - Melo - Novak - Stoudemire. But I think it's the best option - because it can put pressure on teams offensively and potentially has good floor-spread. You'd have to instruct Melo to go after rebounds and maybe play some interior D, but I think he can do that - and it gives him another job besides scoring, which I think is an excellent thing to do for his fragile psyche. I also think that having Amar'e blitz the opposing center is something that's been proven to work and that he's comfortable with. Maybe getting Amar'e a little confidence and swagger back can be the silver lining of the Tysonhammy cloud. That would also take our mind off the parade of penetrating guards making their way unimpeded to the hoop.

The Knicks can't rely on good defense and adequate scoring to win. They now must, simply must score better to win, and I think this is the best way to do that.

Off the bench, you'd have Baron, Earl, Landry (instructed to rebound), Jorts, and, I think, Jerome Jordan for a few minutes, just to be able to flash a non-undersized look. Also, I think that Lin has a bit of chemistry with Jordan from their garbage time days together, and the Knicks should try to exploit that while instructing Jordan to foul penetrators and be as menacing as possible.

Anyway, that's my plan.

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