The New York Knicks (31-16) are in pretty good position heading into the All-Star break–a position that not many thought they would be in. They are right behind the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.
But after the All-Star break, things will get really colorful for them. Out of their last 32 games left in the season, 19 of them are against formidable opponents–opponents that, if the season were to end today, would make the playoffs. And to add to the difficulty, more than half will be on the road.
We know what their offense can do and what their bench can provide. What we don’t know is if their questionable defense can be fixed and hold up to help them move deep in the playoffs.
All season long, the Knicks have been having problems defending the pick-and-roll and containing guards that possess speed and the ability to take it to the rim.
Both the perimeter defenders and the big guys are struggling to stop the younger, and quicker guards. It seems that point guards going against the Knicks have big days against the defense, i.e., Rajon Rondo had a triple-double against the Knicks, Kyrie Irving had a career-high 41 points, and the list goes on. If the Knicks don’t stop this trend, they will be in trouble.
If this team wants to have a good seeding, and have any shot at the championship, the perimeter defenders need to work on slowing down the guards they go against and prevent them from getting to the paint. They also need to communicate more effectively with their big men.