3 on 3: Queen City Hoops
So Spencer Percy of fellow TrueHoop joint Queen City Hoops was kind enough to lend me a mic for a series of three questions on tonight’s tilt in Charlotte:
1- STATS: 16 games into the season, the Knicks have the most efficient offense in the NBA with a rating of 111.3. The Bobcats have slowly regressed on the defensive end lately, and the 4th quarter against Portland on Monday night was proof of that. New York spaces the floor better and with more shooting threats than anyone else in the league, while the Bobcats like to over help on the defensive end more than any other team. Does Charlotte stick with their defensive strategy, or loosen up the core on the defensive end and stay with shooters more often?
Brett: I expect the Bobcats to stick with their strategy of overloading the strong side, and conceding three pointers. They allow their opponents to shoot the second most threes per game in the league (and the Knicks lead the league in taking them), so the Knicks will get their chances. What it will come down to is if the Bobcats rotate and recover well – if they do, they can hold the Knicks to a more average shooting percentage from outside (which is what the Bobcats have averaged allowing), but if they don’t, this could get ugly as the Knicks have been one of the best in the league at converting from deep, not just taking tons, but making them too.
Mathew: What do I think they do? Stick with their current defensive strategy. What do I think they should do? Stay with the Knicks shooters more often. I believe in the strategy of altering your defensive scheme based on the type of team you’re playing each night (much like Bill Belichick does with the Patriots), though I know many other coaches favor a core defensive scheme or identity. At this point it appears Dunlap sides with the latter.
Jim Cavan: The problem with loosening up on help when facing the Knicks is you’re giving allowing Melo – on a career tear of late – way too much freedom to operate, and the Bobcats don’t have anyone who can reasonably be expected to shut him down. That said, the Knicks have died by unkind iron numerous times. If the ‘Cats can turn some early cold shooting from New York into easy transition buckets, it could make life difficult for Woodson’s banged up squad – particularly if Felton’s hand renders him ineffective and we’re forced to rely on a heavy dose of Pablo Prigioni and a back spasming Jason Kidd.
You can read the rest here. And be sure to follow Spencer at @QCsportscrave. He’s a good dude.
Beyond his work for KnickerBlogger, Jim is a contributor to the New York Times Off the Dribble NBA blog, ESPN.com, and The Classical. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, titled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.