I have to tip my hat to Mike D’Antoni or Coach Pringles as I prefer. When it comes to offense, he has this team running like the best engine in the worlds finest automobile.
I’ve been watching the Knicks for a very long time and cannot remember a team that executed like this on offense. We clearly know what we want to do with the ball and for the most part, have been doing it. I see very few bad possessions or bad shots besides the occasional forced 3 pointer.
The team is taking care of the ball, averaging about 15 turnovers a game which is about average. The highest turnover rate is 17 per game while the lowest is 13 per game. You have to take into account that the Knicks average higher number of possessions than most teams based on the quick-fire offense they run. That makes their turnover rate more impressive than just reading the stats against the rest of the league. The Knicks historically always suffered from turnover problems, so its refreshing to see us protecting the ball.
The credit has to be given to Coach Pringles for this execution. If its one thing he has a track record of, its scoring points. He definitely is an offensive genius. I’ve been somewhat hard on him and still have my concerns if he has the ability to make the adjustments needed to win playoff games but we are not here to discuss that today. He’s doing a great job and I believe he should be considered for Coach Of The Year if we continue to win and reach the 48+ win mark.
I am also very surprised to see the defensive effort from this team so far. We surely are not a defensive juggernaut but we have shown flashes of being able to get stops and playing tough.
We are currently leading the league in blocked shots which is a statistic I felt we would be at the bottom of if you asked me prior to the season. The team collectively has been doing a good job and protecting the basket and swatting shots. We are also in the top 5 in steals per game.
The rebounding has been OK, not as bad as I anticipated since Amare has stepped his rebounding game up. We saw last night the inability to secure big rebounds in crucial moments but I am not sure if that was due to some tricky bounces or not. Either way, that’s an area Coach D needs to tighten up.
The one eye-sore for me is rotations and defensive switches. When I think back to coaches of Knicks past. I think Jeff Van Gundy might have been the best I ever seen in terms of preparation and schemes. His players always knew where to be and how to defend the opposing teams “money plays”.
Now I am not suggesting Coach D turns into JVG, that’s not gonna happen. But we do need to bring some focus in terms of staying with key players during key situations, and understand what the team wants to run and when. I have confidence that they can and will be addressed.
Overall, great job thus far by Coach. We’ve progressed at an alarming rate. Which is a gift and a curse at the same time. Our expectations have instantly been rasied based on what we seen over the last few weeks. Let’s just keep making progress.
*Props to @MannersNYC for Coach Pringles graphic*