Hi! The Knicks got drop-kicked by the Pacers Wednesday night. That'll happen. They are not playing very good basketball players right now. Derek Fisher's still having some fun with his offense, though, which is what I'm looking for from a rookie coach who has nothing to lose and everything to learn from 20-odd more games of meaningless but useful basketball. Here's a video I made of all of Andrea Bargnani's (season-high-tying four!) assists in Indiana:
(The above via the wonderful stats.nba.com, as you can see)
The third play is a nice little give-and-go off some interesting initial action, but let's look more closely at plays 1, 2, and 4, all of which are inbound situations. They are variations of the same non-Triangle-y set the Knicks have been running almost constantly on sideline out-of-bounds plays. First play:
Bargnani screens, then pops up top to join Lou Amundson in a two-big(!) front and receives the ball high on the weak side. Tim Hardaway Jr., starting from the post, first sets a screen for the inbounder, Cleanthony Early, who doesn't really use it. Hardaway then receives a down-screen from Amundson and curls around it to catch and finish plus the foul.
The second play and fourth plays are just like the first, with Bargnani handling the ball high on the weak side, except in these two the inbounder actually tries to cut off that first screen where Early just popped out in the play above.
Hardaway inbounds, then attempts to cut through an Alexey Shved screen that never really arrives. He doesn't get the pass, but he clears the way for Amundson to can a jumper after his down-screen for Shved (Bargnani breaks the play for some freelance point-centering here):
On the last iteration of this play, Early DOES get a good screen from Hardaway after inbounding and Damjan Rudez goes behind it for some reason, giving Early the window to catch and finish at the rim:
If that pass hadn't been there, Cole Aldrich would've tried to spring Hardaway free with the same down-screen we saw Amundson making before.
Nothing too nuts. Just Derek Fisher stepping outside the Triangle for what's become a favorite look in those sideline out-of-bounds (SLOB!) situations. Keep an eye out for it the next time you see the Knicks playing basketball.
Thanks to our old friend Dylan Murphy for some help here.