The New York Knicks have been all about defense in the first two days of training camp. Derek Fisher has emphasized it heavily in team practices and in his chats with the media.
We don’t know many details about the Knicks’ new defensive approach. But J.R. Smith said on Monday that the team would try to funnel ballhandlers to the sideline instead of sending them to the middle, like they did last season.
Carmelo Anthony added another interesting detail on Tuesday, when he said Fisher is trying to simplify things.
“Everybody has their own style of coaching, so I don’t want to get into [a comparison of Fisher and Mike Woodson], but as far as what we’re paying attention to now, we’re trying to simplify the game,” Anthony said. “We’re trying to make it simple and easy but very detail oriented. Those are the things we’ve been working on.”
Players last season talked about confusion on the defensive end of the floor, so a simpler approach may help. The Knicks finished 24th in defensive rating, a measure of points allowed per 100 possessions, last season.
Fisher hopes to help the Knicks jump up considerably in that category this season.
Fish says P&R is out: Fisher said the Knicks wouldn’t rely much on the pick-and-roll play to generate offense this season.
“Our penetration won’t come off of pick-and-roll as it does 98 percent of the league but it will come off of interior passes and we have a lot of guys that we can put on the post to get penetration,” the coach said.
Fisher was non-committal when asked about using a small or big lineup this season. Fisher also said being at West Point has put things in perspective for the Knicks.
“I think just understanding that we’re part of a larger fabric of society and that in the NBA sometimes we think in a bubble,” Fisher said of the impact of being at West Point. “We’re so hung up on each win and each loss and who scored this many points and who played this many minutes, and I think being here allows us to take a step back sometimes, even as we’re trying to become a team, just recognizing the importance of how other people really matter to your individual success. So without those other people, you can’t be successful individually.”
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