Schmeelk: Knicks Go Vintage Under Woodson With Inspired Post Play

I was a Mike D’Antoni supporter. Anyone who reads this blog or my Twitter page knows that.

His offense, when run properly, produces beautiful and efficient basketball. The ball moves constantly and the guy with the open look is supposed to take the shot. There is little isolation and total team basketball. It’s the way the game was meant to be played. D’Antoni also cared about defense, despite popular opinion, and preached it constantly in practice. This team played ‘D’ in stretches this season, but at the end of his tenure it appeared both of those messages stopped getting through. The reasons why aren’t important and that’s why Mike Woodson is head coach.

There were things I missed while watching D’Antoni’s Knicks, starting with post play. Since he took over the job, and even more so since Jeremy Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire have been hurt, Mike Woodson has relied on Carmelo Anthony in the post. Granted, it’s a lot different than when the Knicks were running their offense through Patrick Ewing and Larry Johnson down there, but the effect is still the same.

To put it simply, good things happen when the ball starts closer to the basket.

In my opinion, the biggest reason for Anthony’s recent resurgence has been increased touches in the post. Whether because of injury or something else, his jump shot has been off the mark all season long. Getting him the ball in the post has made it a lot easier for Melo to get to the rim and draw fouls to get to the line. It’s something Anthony did a lot in Denver, and he looks as comfortable as he has all season long. You rarely saw post up opportunities in D’Antoni’s offense, a flaw in his system.

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