The ideal situation for the Knicks to succeed in Games 3, 4, and the series is to attack the rim with success and rack up a bunch of fouls on the Pacers’ bigs in the process. Depending on the officiating crew, this tactic can have some drawbacks if calls do not go New York’s direction. Additionally, Roy Hibbert is one of the best centers in the league when absorbing contact and either altering shots or swatting attempts without receiving a foul. Even in a dominate Knicks victory on Tuesday night, Hibbert registered four blocked shots.
We also assume head coach Frank Vogel wants New York’s prolific offense to rely on midrange jumpers rather than knocking down momentum-shifting 3-pointers or easy shots near the rim.
However, the Knicks feature a roster of capable midrange shooters, including the league’s leading scorer Carmelo Anthony. Raymond Felton can also utilize his floater off pick-and-rolls. In the Game 2 26-point New York route, the home team connected on 8-of-17 shots in that midrange area, outside of the paint and just inside the arc. The 47.1 field goal percentage on those shots is seven percent higher when compared to the league average. Even more impressive was Anthony’s performance as he drilled 5-of-8 shots from the same area, 22.4 percent more than the league average according to NBA.com.
Watch the Pacers big men inch closer out to the midrange section if New York starts to damage them in Indiana. If this occurs, back-door cuts and corner 3-pointers will open up for the road team in Game 3. High and side pick-and-rolls will also generate some open midrange looks directly off the screens for the Knicks as they search for another efficient offensive performance.