Mike Woodson’s plan to fix Knicks’ pick-and-roll defense

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The Knicks are a lousy defensive team, but they’re especially bad at defending the pick-and-roll.

New York ranks 29th in points allowed per play finished by a pick-and-roll ball-hander and 30th in points allowed per play finished by a pick-and-roll screener, according MySynergySports.

Wisely, because this isn’t working, Knicks coach Knicks coach Mike Woodson wants to change how his team defends pick-and-rolls.

Woodson, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I don’t want to switch,” Woodson said after Thursday’s practice. “I’ve always wanted to put the emphasis on our perimeter guys to guard perimeter players. Bigs are supposed to guard bigs and when there’s some breakdowns there is supposed to be help. It’s a team defense.

Switching on pick-and-rolls works well – if you have the players to make the scheme work. It requires guards with size and bigs with mobility. New York actually has a few players who can do it, at least somewhat: Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., Metta World Peace and Tyson Chandler.

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But switching requires both defenders being capable of executing. The Knicks don’t have enough players who can to do it often.

Really, the Knicks don’t have enough players who defend well in any scheme. I’m not sure how Woodson plans to tackle that one.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)