Tuesday, April 19, 2011

N.Y. KNICKS ~ Tighten Up And Do It Again; Game Two

National Basketball Association



Boston Celtics (1-0)

Not from the Boston Garden

NEW YORK KNICKS: Mike D'Antoni Coached a Good Game.  But Doc Rivers Mastered The Moment.

Two things are true about the coaching in this series; - Mike D'Antoni prepared the Knicks well with an effective plan on defense.  And Doc Rivers out-coached Coach D in the last minute of the game. 

Doc Rivers mapped out a way to get Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen the ball for their most important possessions.  Coach D was never able to spring Amare Stoudemire free down the stretch.  Instead, Chauncey Billups pulled up lame on a lay-up and Carmelo Anthony chucked up a brick to end the game.  Doc Rivers held on to timeouts for the closing moments of the game..  Coach D did not.  Doc Rivers got points every time coming out of his time-outs.  Coach D did not and then ran out.

This time around, Coach needs to find a better way to keep Amare Stoudemire more involved during crunch time.  Doc Rivers drew up a plan to stop Stoudemire after he scored twelve points in the fourth quarter before the Celts pulled it out.  And just as Doc had an answer for Amare, he also managed to uncork Ray Allen late in the game.

Mike D'Antoni came on board as an offensive minded coach.  He needs to get his team to play defense again, but he needs to live up to his reputation and design plays that will get the Knicks closer to one hundred points.


It's unfair to pile on the rookie.  But the fact is the Knicks need Landry to be the player he was before the Melo trade.  It's strictly a numbers issue.  The Knicks don't have em.  The Knickerbockers not only need the defense he provides, they need his ability to rebound from the two spot.  But mostly they need Landry Fields to adjust for Ray Allen and Boston's points off the bench.

Again, it's up to Coach D'Antoni to find a way and reintegrate Landry into the offensive flow and get him uncorked again.  The problem is Landry is better at letting the game come to him and reacting on the floor than he is with something drawn up for him.  He was a tremendous opportunist before the Melo trade when more players were involved with the offensive mindset.  I said in my last post, that's what happens when you shelve the Team Concept and adopt the Star System.  You might even call Landry an X-factor.  His points are crucial for making what hopefully will be another supreme defensive effort by the Knicks, successful.

Free Throws and Elbows:

* I'm expecting Carmelo Anthony to have a substantially better game.  But I'm expecting likewise from Antonio Pierce.  That's why Landry Fields is so important to the Knicks right now.

* I'm also looking forward towards Amare Stoudemire continuing his dominance over Kevin Garnett and
Big Cry Baby.  Amare is the younger, more spry, and more energetic player between him and Garnett.  That will prove itself out when Amare has the ball.  I don't think Garnett's game will be taking much of an up-tick after Game One.

* I think Toney Douglas at the point helps the Knicks speed up their tempo.  The Knicks have played without Chauncey before and aren't necessarily dependent on him.  Douglas' legs are fresher.  We'll see how the supposedly Old Legs of the Celtics hold up going into Game Two.  And Toney Douglas will more easily keep up with Rondo more so than Chauncey could have.

* Landry Fields has to match-up with Ray Allen over the course of the series.  But the Knicks need to come up with an answer to Jermaine O'Neal right now!  He'll eat us up if Coach D doesn't think of something quick.  Enter Ronny Turiaf.  The Knicks need a sustained defensive effort from him all series long.

* I think the Knicks played very well last game and are capable of sustaining this effort.  Some things need to go our way though; like whistles; but all I think the Knicks need to do for Game Two is to rewind and play it again. 

The true adjustments needed to be made by both teams in this series will come after this game.

Let's Go Knicks!!


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