Nets Defense vs Knicks

After watching Kidd sink a dagger in us to win a close game, I rewound the last 8 or 9 minutes I had on DVR and focused on defense. Melo scored 13 of the Knick's 20 points during that span. Kidd had 6, Chandler had 1.

When we played man (pretty much always), here were the assignments:

  • Felton: Dwill
  • Kidd: Stackhouse or Evans
  • JR: JJ
  • Melo: Crash
  • Chandler: Blatche or Evans or Hump

The Best of what I saw:

  • Blatche owned. Chandler didn't attempt a single shot while Blatche was on him. The Knicks kept bringing Chandler up to pick Dwill, JJ and Crash and Blatche was always there to contest the ball-handler's shots. I counted 5 shots against Blatche and only 2 points (by Melo on a drive that missed but then Melo got the putback).
  • JJ: JJ helped on Chandler and fouled him at 8:47 when Hump and Crash doubled Melo. Chandler missed a FT so JJ saved a point there. JJ also contested a JR miss, and covered Melo on the play when crash went down (Melo scored on a jumper that play). JJ generally was all over the place, switching on guys when his teammates would get stuck on picks.
The worst of what I saw:
  • Stackhouse was responsible for 5 Knicks points: he had a TO that led to a Melo fastbreak, and he left Kidd open on the final play for 3. That final play may not have been entirely his fault, see the Avery section below.
  • Evans: Evans defensively was probably pretty valuable: he had 16 defensive rebounds for god's sake. But on one play he cheated inside and left Kidd wide open for an open 3. 3s are all Kidd does this year. That's unforgivable.
Coaching. There were 3 plays that really stood out as breakdowns in the defense:
  • 6:50 left: The Knicks do a 3-man play with tons of picks to get Melo an open 3. I'm not sure what should have happened on the play. Melo has the ball. Chandler picks Wallace and Melo runs past Felton on the perimeter giving him the ball. Dwill goes under Melo trying to get to Felton, then gets caught in a ridiculous pick/grab by Chandler taking himself out of the play. Evans sticks with Chandler. That leaves Crash covering Felton AND Melo. Crash follows Felton, then can't reach Melo for an open 3 after Felton simply passes it back. On the player side I blame Dwill for not anticipating the picks and sticking with Melo. I don't think Avery's team was prepared for that play.
  • 6:13 left: Knicks inbound play. Dwill is on Melo. Melo gets the ball and simply jumps over Dwill for a pretty much uncontested short jumper. Why is Dwill covering Melo?? Melo has 5 inches on him!
  • 0:23 left: The infamous Kidd 3 to win the game. I'm no expert, but it looks like the Nets go zone for once. Melo is dribbling the ball trying to figure out what's going on. Eventually Avery yells at Dwill to double Melo so Dwill runs over leaving the upper right area open. Melo passes to JR who was in Dwill's zone. From here the entire zone concept breaks down. JJ has to come up from the right wing to cover JR. That leaves Felton alone in the corner, JR passes to Felton. Dwill sprints over to the corner from the upper left, Blatche helps a little, leaving Chandler alone-ish in the middle. Stack cheats toward Chandler. Felton drives in and kicks it to a WIIIIIDE open Kidd who swishes the 3 (with Stackhouse launching himself at him far too late). So... why switch to zone?? And why double from the zone when Melo is so far out? The team clearly wasn't prepared to cover in that scenario because the obvious plays by the offense totally effed the defense up (passing to the empty spots). I think the same ol' man defense would have been way better. Over the last 8-9 minutes the Nets had allowed 17 points in 18ish shots playing man, which is great.
Let me know if you interpreted those plays the same way I did. My biggest takeaway is that Blatche is MY FAVORITE move that Billy King made this summer. He was probably the MVP of the game, scoring team high points and owning on D.
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