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Enemy Chatter: Amare is unengaged defensively

Chuck - Red's Army December 15, 2010 Uncategorized 6 Comments

I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Celtics before/after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose of 'enemy chatter' from New York.

The biggest culprit appears to be the interior defense, "led" by Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire has never been a great defender, but he's looked particularly indifferent or unengaged early in games, especially as his minutes have gone up. And to be fair, the coaching staff seem to realize that acting as anchor of the defense and carrying the offense for 40+ minutes may be asking too much of Amare, so they've tolerated numerous defensive lapses in the interior, the same way they tolerated (or worked around) Steve Nash's shaky defense in Phoenix.

According to Hoopdata, the Knicks are the second worst team in the league in opponents shots attempted and made at the rim, allowing 26 attempts and 17 makes per game — they are 11th in opponent FG% at the rim, one percentage point below league average. Teams that are successful at limiting shots at the rim tend to be strong defensive teams and good teams generally (with one or two exceptions): Indiana, Atlanta, Utah, Orlando and San Antonio. D'Antoni's Phoenix team in 2006-07 with Amare and Nash was in the middle of the pack (15th) in shots attempted and made at the rim, and 8th in FG% allowed. This Knick team isn't quite there in terms of forcing the opponent to take jumpers and limiting higher percentage attempts inside.

Bandwagon Knick

I've been scouring the interweblogs, looking for boisterous, overconfident Knicks fans heading into tonight's game. And… I can't find any.

See this blog post by Bandwagon Knick as evidence. While most of the media is massaging Amare, he's criticizing his defense.

Since when are New Yorkers rational and logical?

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  • theW

    I’ll admit, I never thought Amare would have this kind of impact on the Knicks. I am impressed. But the difference between an impact player and a legend is the ability to also dominate the defensive end of the floor. Whether as an individual or a great team defender. This is why KG may not be a better scorer but will always be a better player than Amare. I can’t wait for tonight.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/the_bantam the_bantam

    Fantastic. That doesn’t quite make it as bulletin board material, that is so passively neutral, ‘he kinda stinks on D but it’s okay because he works really hard on O’. Maybe the fans are in a position where they don’t want to buy in too early. When did they become rational, indeed.

  • Nora

    This is why they won’t win anything. Defense wins championships. It is said alot because it is true.

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    Fantastic. This is not enough to make a bulletin board material, which is then passively neutral. Maybe the fans are in a position where they do not want to buy too soon. When you are rational, in fact.

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    There’s so many rules that’s its hard to keep it all straight which is why Server said that one of the top “skills” a new GM must have is working understanding of the CBA.When Steve Nash hurts, so does his shot.He needed the down time because he has not shot the 3 as well or as often since his groin injury.