It's 1 am, and it's been a long Saturday night. This is going to be interesting. I've broken down the issues with the Knicks performance into the following:
1) Terrible Help defense
2) Inability to shoot from a high percentage from 3.
3) Lack of size in the front court (not including Tyson)
If you're wondering why these Knicks are losing and the November Knicks were dominating, the answer is in these 3 issues. Issue 1 is caused really just by 2 things: lack of effort by the front court to help guards who drive the lane, and the fact that Sheed's defense when Chandler came out is SOOO much better than Amare's. Woodson's defense is built to shift to the ball and help when someone drives the lane, and if it wasn't crystal clear last year, Amare's performance shows that he just doesn't have the basketball IQ to shift over and prevent an easy layup 90% of the time. Sheed coming back should help this issue correct itself. Hopefully Woody gives him the proper minutes.
Issue 2 is luck really, but also a matter of adjusting game plan. Every team in the league knows that we shoot the most 3's and they defend it as such. There has to be more penetration from Felton, Kidd, and Melo to open up shooters. Without a bigger threat of them driving, the shots will be tougher to get off cleanly.
Issue 3 is why I'm really here. Iman Shumpert has no business starting at the 3. AT ALL. 12 out of the 15 players on this Knicks roster have a cumulative +/- for this season. Those 3 in the red are Amare (who can't defend), James White (who probably won't see the floor for more than 5 minutes the rest of the year), and Iman Shumpert....the "defender" who can't defend at the 3, who has no 3 point shot in an offense which requires it from the guards. He's undersized for the position, and his legs are just not there yet. Per 36 minutes, he averages 9.5 pts a game.
Let me submit to you the obvious alternative in Chris Copeland. He's 6-9, can shoot, defend, and averages 20! per 36 minutes. He's a better scorer than Iman, at this point a better defender at the 3, has way more size, and in that Indiana masacre earlier this week, he played 10 minutes, went 6/9, finished with 13. Was the only player with a positive +/- on the roster. What in the world doesn't Woody see in him? But yes, keep throwing Iman Shumpert out there, who's 5/24 in his last 100 minutes of play. That's 1 basket every 20 minutes....oh and he has half a knee and at 6-5 gives up 4 inches to the average 3 guard. COPELAND NOW PLEASE.