The Knack for Defense

Defense is what got us into the playoffs and defense is what will get us to the next round. The Knicks’ have lacked the knack to adapt to the Hawks’ litany of weapons and something needs to change. What needs to change on defense is the question? Well for starters the Knicks’ need to find a way to neutralize Hawks’ neophyte Trae Young.

Frank Ntilikina guarding Trae Young in a game earlier this year.

The Knack for Defending Trae Young

Young has absolutely obliterated the Knicks this series racking up points and assists in a steadfast manner. The Knicks’ need to try something they have not tried yet, at least not longer than a few possessions. Enter Frank Ntilikina. It is a longshot, but it is worth a try at this point. No other defender on the Knicks’ has had any luck against him. With Ntilikina’s length and size, he could potentially give Young fits if the Knicks do not allow the Hawks to use screens to switch.

Derrick Rose guarding Trae Young in Game 1 of this series.

Switching on Screens

Switching on screens has absolutely decimated our defense. I know it is something we have done all year, but it needs to change. Just about every time Trae Young gets a screen, he gets loose and either hits a three pointer over a passive defender, or he drives to the basket past a slower defender. The time is now to stress coming over the screens and bringing in the second defender to hedge Trae Young and bottle him up. This will take more communication on the court by our leaders Derrick Rose and Julius Randle.  

Julius Randle being guarded by John Collins.

Julius Randle

Subsequently, Randle must make an appearance this series. The real Julius Randle, not this imposter who we have seen in the last three games. The city that never sleeps will not give Randle a pass if he does not show up in this series. Unexplained turnovers, bad passes, missed shots all are not what we expect from the most improved player of the year. The key for Randle will be confidence, he undoubtedly possesses the skills to take over this series. Will Randle make an appearance in game four? That will be key for the Knicks’.

Knicks announcer Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

The asininity must end

To quote Walt “Clyde” Frazier “The asininity continues”. In response to an ill-advised foul by Reggie Bullock on Trae Young to end the first quarter last night. This has been a good way to sum up the series so far. The second half of game two, Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson seem to be the only glimmers of hope this Knicks’ team have had thus far. It is going to take a lot of work to get back into this series. Game four tips off at 1pm EST on Sunday May 30th. The Knicks’ most certainly will have their work cut out for them.

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About Author

Scott Briskin

Growing up I lived all over Long Island, I was always a huge fan of local New York sports. I played basketball and bowled all throughout high school and college. I'm a huge fan of the movies and enjoy working out. I love watching the Knicks, Yankees and Giants. I'm currently working on a writing project about growing up in the 90s and hope it resonates with other 90s kids like myself.

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