“You know, we got great looks in the pick-and-roll yesterday, we just have to play defense and rebound.” -- Jason Kidd
Pick-and-rolls can open a variety of options on the offensive side of the floor. When facing a squad with large defenders and a team that can defend straight up without sending a double team, the pick-and-roll becomes an essential weapon to create movement and mismatches.
The Knicks utilized pick-and-rolls at a high rate as they finished 10-of-25 from the floor for the pick-and-roll handler and a sparkling 4-of-6 (1.13 PPP) when hitting the pick-and-roll man on Sunday afternoon. Despite the low .83 points per play on the pick-and-roll handler, New York found success in reaching the paint and forcing some action at the rim. The Knicks tallied 34 field goal attempts inside the box on Sunday.
When examining the game tape, the location of the pick-and-roll was especially important for New York. Side pick-and-rolls seemed to create a great angle for the handler as seen with Raymond Felton’s floater in the paint or for Carmelo Anthony to coast to his sweet spot near the elbow for a midrange jumper.
When the Knicks ran a high pick-and-roll near the top of the arc, the straight line approach allowed Roy Hibbert to camp in the lane and have a direct line of sight to challenge any traffic heading in his direction.
Felton vocalized the Pacers adjustments in the second half after New York reeled off 14 points from pick-and-rolls. This will be an ongoing theme to watch throughout the series and if the Knicks can apply pressure from side pick-and-roll action, offensive success will follow.