Updated Series Scouting Report

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Defending the Pick and Roll


The Knicks went back to what worked so well for them during the regular season in Game 2, adjusting their pick-and-roll sets to confuse the Pacers and gain favorable matchups on switches. Tyson Chandler set the high screens well above the three-point line;  this allowed the ball handler to get a head of steam before attacking the paint. The Knicks were able to generate open elbow jump shots, with Roy Hibbert hanging back below the free throw line. When those looks weren’t as open, the Knicks would wisely swing the ball to the opposite side for an open three-pointer. On one play, Anthony came off a screen and spotted Iman Shumpert in the right corner for a wide-open three after Lance Stephenson lost track of his man.

The Knicks also ran a variety of side screen-and-rolls featuring Anthony both as the ball handler and as the screener. This created mismatches for Melo, and plenty of confusion for Indiana's big men. Hibbert and David West struggled to impact the game the way they did in Game 1 because they weren’t able to clog the paint as often.

Look for Indiana to counter this action by aggressively showing on these pick-and-rolls. Hibbert will have to creep up above the free throw line on the high screens. For the side screens, expect Coach Vogel to put in some hard and fast rules regarding switches to eliminate the confusion. Paul George has been the only defender capable of (somewhat) containing Anthony. The Pacers will need George to continue tracking Melo all over the court, possibly at the expense of his offensive game. The Knicks will need to swing the ball around the perimeter and continue running the decoy screens to capitalize on the Pacers big men being further from the basket than usual.

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images