One of several reasons I'm not too upset about the Knicks' loss to the Bucks -- and particularly the empty first quarter that set it in motion -- is how New York ran a pretty sound offense over their worst stretch, but just couldn't get outside shots to fall. Part of the problem is that Jose Calderon, who has been one of the planet's best shooters for nearly a decade, simply can't get buckets right now. This, historically, is a layup for Calderon, and it was generated off great ball movement. If he's in a slump, hopefully he snaps out of it to become the deadly mini-Novak he should be. If Jose's shot is just gone now ... well, that sucks, and he should play as little as possible.
But I digress! The motion was good, is what I'm saying, but dudes just missed shots. I think they bricked 11 straight to start the game. That happens! For a building team like this one, I take a sliver of pleasure in a clean build-up, regardless of the result. For an example of nice build-up *and* a positive result, here's New York's last play of the first half, wrapping up a fine second quarter in an otherwise crappy performance. You'll note that the shooter, Langston Galloway, is near the top of the NBA in three-point percentage to start the season. I'm glad he's playing more and more, and hope he keeps pulling even when he starts to miss a bit.
This play comes out of a timeout, and it starts, as many good things do, with Robin Lopez screening a bunch:
Before Galloway enters the ball to the weak side, Lopez gives Sasha Vujacic some space with a pindown. Once the ball's over there, he steps up again to pretty much guarantee that John Henson must contain the ball-handler (which...eh, maybe just let Sasha drive, man.)
Sasha pulls the help toward the baseline, which means Chris Copeland has to shift over from guarding Kristaps Porzingis to contain Lopez's roll, while poor Greivis Vasquez is left trying to blanket Porzingis, abandoning Galloway as he fills to the corner. Based on his reaction, I think Greivis got a hip bone to the dick.
Nice, simple little play out of a timeout, and, given the way the Bucks helped, it could just as easily have created a Porzingis dunk as it did a Galloway three.