Where is the New York Knicks defense?
Dec 30, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the fourth quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Knicks 104-92. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Now a .500 team yet again, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks continue their disappearing act on the defensive end.

One of the biggest criticisms towards the New York Knicks this season is, at times, how their offense becomes too stagnant due to the fact of relying on isolation basketball. Certainly, this is a problem for the Knicks.

The main issue revolves around the idea that it’s not their top problem.

Their poor defensive play often gets overlooked, but it’s the biggest factor on why the Knicks are playing .500 basketball. Currently, the Knicks allow 107 points per game, which is ranked 25th in the league.

The offense scores plenty, as they are averaging 105 points per contest, 12th in the NBA. Over the last 10 games, the Knicks are just 4-6 and they have allowed 109 points per game. This would include the 127 points they allowed against the Denver Nuggets on December 17 and of course the 119 points they allowed on Christmas Day to the Boston Celtics.

This Knicks team certainly has the potential to be a dangerous team in the East. This is one of the most talented rosters they have had in recent years, but if they are going to reach their full potential, they are going to have buckle down defensively on daily basis.

They show flashes of being a strong defensive team as they are third in the league for blocked shots, but their focus is not on the defensive end each night. A prime example of this would in their recent loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans are playing much better after beginning the season 0-8, but they are a team the Knicks should beat. The Knicks really struggled guarding the perimeter in allowing the Pelicans to make 12 threes, shooting 41 percent from downtown.

They even allowed Tyreke Evans to shoot 40 percent from the three point arch. This is especially troubling considering the man came into this game shooting only 33 percent from beyond the arc. The Pelicans just had easy shots all night as the Knicks didn’t look like a cohesive unit and they were simply outplayed and out hustled, which has been a trend recently for the Knicks.

Things do not get any easier for the Knicks as they face the Houston Rockets, who are second in the NBA scoring 113 points per contest. In these teams’ first meeting on November 2 the Rockets poured 118 points against this Knicks team. The Rockets are coming off a win against the Clippers where they scored 140 points.

The bottom line is if the Knicks are going to become a serious contender in this league they are going to need to commit to playing defense night in and night out. It cannot come and go they need it to be a focus point every time they touch the floor.

 

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