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Knicks Fail to Beat Miami's Pick-and-Roll Defense

The Miami Heat's pick and roll defense was covered by Bassy not too long ago and it was something I looked out for in last night's game. With it being such an integral part of the Knicks' offense, they needed to find a way to punish the Heat for showing hard on all screens. Unfortunately, Raymond Felton couldn't which led to a mediocre 5 assists (4 off his season average) and a poor shooting night going 5-13.

Jump for some footage.


Instead of trying to run around the hedge all game, which probably would've ended up in a lot of wasted lateral dribbling, Felton opted to pick up his dribble and make quick passes to the roller or out to the wing. Here he has the right idea giving it to Wilson Chandler before the defense can trap him but Dwyane Wade picked him up by leaving Landry Fields and Miami got a block.

Here are a couple of examples of Felton passing out to the wing rather than the roller. While certainly not terrible shots, the Knicks were cold going 29% from three so they weren't able to attack the defense this way either. I would have liked to see the pass come to Amar'e Stoudemire on the first clip, though, as he was picked up by Wade.

Danilo Gallinari gets the pass on the wing on this possession and drives off the head fake. Of course, this happens on too few occasions with Gallo, but the other time it did, he threw down a majestic dunk.

On this play, Chris Bosh actually chose to stay with Chandler instead of showing on the screen and the difference allowed Felton to get all the way to the basket.

Unfortunately the team had to resort to the Stat-on-Five offense with Amar'e in the post to keep up. It was successful when he made his move early before a double arrived. We know the story when it didn't work. Catch it on the elbow, turn and face up, wait five seconds before a jump shot or drive on a prepared defense.

It was frustrating to see Felton rendered so useless but he wasn't making bad decisions. Maybe the paint would've opened up for Chandler and Stoudemire to roll if more of those threes fell. But right now it doesn't look like Miami has any issue defending the oldest play in the book.