By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
There's been a lot of talk the last two days about the cause of the Knicks' Game 3 loss. Was it defense or offense?
Sometimes there's an answer to that question, but often there's not -- the two are just too closely connected. The latter is pretty clearly the case here.
Because the Knicks weren't able to execute their gameplan defensively -- which hinges on forcing turnovers and pulling down defensive rebounds -- they didn't secure the extra possessions that are crucial in playoff games and they missed out on easy opportunities to score.
"(The Pacers) crash the board every time," said Tyson Chandler. "That’s what they do. So we need five guys rebounding the ball. It’s supposed to be us trapping to generate a faster pace. If we’re not trapping, then we’re in a tough spot."
Common sense says that a faster tempo puts more pressure on a defense. The good thing for the Knicks is that upping the pace is entirely correctable.
Said Assistant Coach Jim Todd: "We're playing two point guards. Out of our three point guards, two of them we've got on the floor most of the time. Both teams shot about 35-36 percent (Saturday) night -- there's an awful lot of missed shots out there, and every time there's a missed shot, we want to be off and running."
Whether it's a result of forcing more live ball turnovers or a collective effort to get up the floor faster, the Knicks chances look a lot better if they can keep the pressure on the Pacers and not allow them to set up.
Chandler, again: "We gotta get out and run. We’re walking the ball up the court. Wings are not busting out. We gotta get the ball out quick."
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