The rules and players don’t change when it comes to regular season and playoff basketball but the game is night and day. The playoffs allow for a team to focus on nothing but beating the team they are facing. Now, what may give a team a victory for a game or two in the regular season, has to stand up for an entire series in the playoffs.
With the New York Knicks currently down 3-1 to the Indiana Pacers and on the brink of being eliminated from the 2nd round of this year’s playoffs, it has become obvious that this team was not built for the post season grind or for post season consistency.
First and foremost, this team has lived and died by the three-point shot during the regular season. They have managed to ride that style to a very respectable 2 seed, but now in the 2nd round of the playoffs they are dying by that same style.
This team needs scoring options beyond Carmelo Anthony and the slumping J.R. Smith. More specifically, they need a big that can shoot just well enough that he can unclog the lane on offense by making the opposing big step out to guard his jumper. Tyson Chandler, as great as he definitely is, does not provide that option on offense. The closest thing they have to that is 28-year-old rookie Chris Copeland and he’s only 6’8 and has a lot to learn on defense.
The Knicks appeared to be built specifically to stop the Miami Heat. During an embarrassing 1st-round sweep in 2012, the Heat thrived against the Knicks by driving to the basket whenever Chandler went to the bench. So the Knicks went out and got old band-aids for those lacerations and signed the now retired Kurt Thomas, 39-year-old Marcus Camby and the 38-year-old Rasheed Wallace. So no, they were not thinking long term with those moves. The team also had deficiencies at point guard last year and they made similar short-term adjustments by signing 35-year-old Argentinian Pablo Prigioni and 40-year-old veteran Jason Kidd.
Defensive match-ups have been tricky all season long. The team has hid those issues by having twos guard threes and by experimenting with the line-ups.
Basically the Pacers pulled the curtains back and revealed this team for the flawed personnel that it has. It has no real solid two-way players. The true defenders can’t create their own shot and the players that create their own shot have defensive weaknesses. The age and lack of multi-taskers will be an issue that will cause another exciting offseason.
You can also add him to your network on Google+