Friday Squirrel Cuckoos

Dario Sanches

Links!

Good day, Bartolo Colons. Please sit down while I feed you links.

- Why are they called squirrel cuckoos? Wiki:

This species’ English name derives from its habit of running along branches and leaping from branch to branch like a squirrel. It normally flies only short distances, mainly gliding with an occasional flap.

- Three worthwhile looks at the Knicks' lame-ass defense, two with snippets:

1. Azaz examined the defensive rankings of past conference finalists just to see if there's any precedent for a team as defensively poor as the Knicks making in that deep in the playoffs. There is very little. Knicks are pretty terrific at offense, though, so...

2. Chris Herring:

The Knicks, who play the Timberwolves here Friday, have left shooters open 66.8% of the time on catch-and-shoot opportunities, the league's second-highest rate, according to Synergy.

Part of that is teams creating open space by exploiting the Knicks' biggest weakness: one-on-one defense. The Knicks, sixth-worst at defending one-on-ones, have had to defend isolations 12.2% of the time, more than any other team.

When opposing teams haven't run isolations against the Knicks, they often have gone to standard pick-and-roll plays. But the defense has only looked more lost when that is the case.

3. Nate Taylor:

Coach Mike Woodson put most of the blame on his guards for their poor performance against Wall. “They’ve got to take pride in guarding,” Woodson said. “You can’t put it on the bigs. It all works hand in hand. The perimeter guys have to do their job. Our bigs have to do their job. That’s how you become a good defensive team and you win.”

- As was mentioned several times in the above articles (take a look at the small-sample stats in Herring's piece), it feels like a lot of these issues could be alleviated somewhat if Iman Shumpert could guard the ball consistently. He's just not quite there yet.

- James White is pretty confident he's gonna win this Dunk Contest. Then he's DONE FOREVER.

- James would also win the Incisive Scooby Doo Analysis Contest.

- I dunno how many of you know @bnr1986 from Twitter, but he knows his shit (about the Knicks and all the New York sports) and just started a blog, so that's something to keep an eye on.

- Jared Dubin pointed out, among other things, Jason Kidd's significant regression from behind the arc.

- Our friend Scott Davis followed up with a bit more on Kidd's decline.

Mmhmm. Knicks-Wolves later, y'all. Everyone eating good lunches?

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