Monday NBA Roundup: New York Knicks Finding Fresh Identity

November 14th, 2016 by Grant Hughes Leave a reply »

Halfway through yet another abysmal defensive performance against the shell of the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, the New York Knicks steered into the skid.

And it worked.

A halftime lineup switch put Justin Holiday into the first unit ahead of Joakim Noah, which bumped Kristaps Porzingis over to the center spot. A leaner, quicker, more offensively capable Knicks team put on a 19-6 run to start the third quarter, turned a deficit into a comfortable lead and went on to bury a Mavs club playing without Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams.

New York won, 93-77.

The Knicks—plagued by an atrocious foul rate, the worst defensive rating in the league and a nightly gag reel of miscommunications and poor effort on D—basically said, "Screw it. We can't be any worse. We might as well try to score."

Going smaller, shelving Noah and spacing the floor didn't address the Knicks' great and glaring flaw. It didn't shore up the interior or unleash some rabid switch-everything quintet of greyhounds. That wasn't the point.

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