Even though the Knicks allowed the Hawks to score 104 points and shoot 60 percent from the field, Mike Woodson is more concerned with his team's offense. And rightfully so. While the Knicks are holding opponents to a sixth-best 94.5 points per game in January, they've significantly dropped in scoring from 102.3 points per game through December to 95.8 this month.
"Our offense has been stinking a little bit in terms of us getting ball movement and getting back to executing how we were earlier in the season," Woodson said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco" show on Monday afternoon.
On Sunday night, the Knicks ran isolation plays 23.4 percent of the time -- their third-highest single-game mark all season. In the fourth quarter, especially, they lived and died through isolation. Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith scored half of the team's 24 points -- six fewer than the Hawks -- in those plays. Melo did make the game-winning layup in a clear-out situation.
But with Raymond Felton, the Knicks need to get back to two-sided half-court basketball. Recently, the ball has remained on one side of the court too much with a decrease in pick-and-rolls. As a result, Anthony is overworked and incurs additional body contact on his drives.
"He'll bounce back," the coach said of Felton. "I thought he had a great floor game for us (against the Hawks). He made shots early for us. Raymond will be back to Raymond before you know it."
Here are some other key nuggets from Woodson's radio appearance:
Defensive woes on Sunday night: "A lot of the problems is that we haven't been able to practice. That's got a lot to do with it in terms of guys knowing rotations, knowing when we're going to sting someone on the post. I mean, there are a lot of things that come into play when you're talking about trying to build a defensive team, guys in the lineup based on injuries."
Amar'e Stoudemire: "He's growing, that's all I can tell you. He's more engaged and more in tuned to what we want done, especially on the defensive end. ... His energy level is where it needs to be. Offensively, he's been playing beautiful basketball. I'm proud of Amar'e because he has put in a lot of time this summer."
Frontcourt significance: "I think for us in the long haul as we continue this journey is going to be the play of Amar'e, Tyson and Melo together. ... Eventually, we will get to it throughout the course of a game, big minutes. We're slowly working our way there. Statistically, they are playing pretty well together. ... That's going to be pivotal for our ballclub."
Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby: "We're not rushing them back. Rasheed is on the floor shooting some, but we haven't started to run with him yet. ... Camby is probably a little bit behind him in terms of his foot and getting back. But eventually, they will be back."
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