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Thread: Knicks to play 1-3-1 Zone?

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Default Knicks to play 1-3-1 Zone?

    With a starting lineup of Felton, Gallinari, Randolph, Amare, Turiaf..the Knicks would be a team that would create multiple mis matches for the opposing teams. The opposition will have a tough time with the size of the Knicks team and the speed of Felton to put the icing on the cake.

    With a 1-3-1 zone, this lineup could actualyl work. Man to man, this lineup would get beat since Gallo would get blown away by fast SG's and Randolph can't use his shot blocking and rebounding presence against PF's in the post.

    What does everyone think of this article? It make me think twice. This might be a good idea.

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    By Chris Alvino on Sep 02, 2010, 5:23 pm
    Without getting into the argument of whether or not a Mike D’Antoni coached team is capable of defending, let’s keep one thing in mind. Every team in the NBA plays defense. It is a fundamental part of the game. How well teams play defense is another story and something I am willing to discuss in this article.
    Last season, the Knicks did not play defense well as a team. However, before [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] was dealt, the team did have some success with him defending at the top of a zone. His length and quickness helped to contain the opposition.
    With a potential starting line-up of Ray Felton, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], Anthony Randolph, Amare Stoudemire, and Ronnie Turiaf, the Knicks figure to have more length than any other team in the league. With that length, the Knicks can find themselves either facing matchup problems or creating matchup nightmares for the opposition depending on how they play. Even though Danilo Gallinari receives a worse reputation than he deserves for his defensive abilities, I am not sure how well he will be able to defend shorter, quicker shooting guards. Every time down the floor, I would expect the opposing guards to attack Gallo and force him to tire out and potentially get into foul trouble.
    Despite preferring man-to-man defense, I am beginning to believe that if the starting line-up is consistent with the one mentioned above, then perhaps a zone defensive scheme would work better. I am envisioning the Knicks running a 1-3-1 zone scheme, with Ray Felton harassing the ball-handler at the top of the key, Gallo and Randolph on the wings, Amare in the middle, and Turiaf quarterbacking the zone from underneath the hoop. Felton’s quickness and defensive ability should be able to slow / stop penetration from the opposing point guard, thus forcing him to kick it to one of his wings. At that point, I believe that Gallo’s and Randolph’s length will allow them to get out on those wings quickly, thus contesting jump-shooters. With Turiaf’s ability to block shots and to put a body on players once shots go up, I think he would be a good fit in the back of the 1-3-1 (that is not even mentioning his motor mouth while he is on the floor. Those who have played zone before understand the need for good rotation and for communication amongst the five teammates). Then once [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] (potentially the 6<sup>th</sup> man) checks in for Turiaf, he would shift to the wing and force Randolph underneath the hoop.
    Schemes can change once more traditional line-ups are on the floor. For instance, once a player like Roger Mason or Kelenna Azubuike checks into the line-up, they should be able to defend man-to-man.
    Another interesting possibility would be having Anthony Randolph playing at the top of a zone. We all saw how Coach Mike used the athletically versatile Jeffries last year. Could Randolph take over that role for this year’s Knicks?
    Defense starts with heart and grit. To be able to defend well, players have to want to defend well and have to put their all into doing so. However, some defensive tactics can aid a team in defending well. The Knicks will have to play a defense that suits their personnel at different points during the game. Would playing a zone be best with Felton, Gallo, Randolph, Amare and Turiaf on the floor?
    Thoughts?

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    Veteran StEpHoN_mArBuRy's Avatar
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    Gallo will not be starting at sg..

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    Its worth a try. This is definitely thinking outside the box. I was thinking of Azubuike replacement but this is an interesting option.

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    is the Bo$$ Toons's Avatar
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    i was thinkin this same thing

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    Evacuee Crazy⑧s's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Toons
    i was thinkin this same thing
    I was thinking that we could play the 3-2 man/zone on D. 3 on the baseline in a zone - Gallo, Stat, Ronnie, The Gov - and 2 in the defensive front court playing man to man - AR and Felton. I think that'd work even better. It'd haunt the passing lane.
    Last edited by Crazy⑧s; Sep 03, 2010 at 03:36. Reason: IPhone's gay predictive text

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by StEpHoN_mArBuRy
    Gallo will not be starting at sg..
    Man-to-man yes Gallo should not be a SG.

    But with a certain zone scheme, which Mike D likes to experiment with, this is possible and it won't hinder Gallo on defense since he is 6'10 long wing spanned, all he has to do is guard a wing.

    Randolph playing the role Jeffries did last year is probably what Mike D will do most of the time. BUT this idea of a 1-3-1 zone is interesting and gives us the tallest team in the NBA, "with matchup nightmares" as Chris Alvano said.

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    El Cacique portega1968's Avatar
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    I disagree with the thought that DAntoni will not try using Gallo at SG. I bet that will happen a lot.

    anywayz, the zone may be useful as a surprise in some games to confuse the other teams, but I doubt this would be effective in the long run. It can be easily exploited with multiple cutters and the 1-3-1 would be a whistle magnet for ilegal defense calls

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    Originally Posted by portega1968
    I disagree with the thought that DAntoni will not try using Gallo at SG. I bet that will happen a lot.

    anywayz, the zone may be useful as a surprise in some games to confuse the other teams, but I doubt this would be effective in the long run. It can be easily exploited with multiple cutters and the 1-3-1 would be a whistle magnet for ilegal defense calls
    I think you can run the 1-3-1 defense with very few illegal defense calls. You would have to modify it to meet NBA defensive rule requirements, but that is doable.

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    El Cacique portega1968's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shaolin
    I think you can run the 1-3-1 defense with very few illegal defense calls. You would have to modify it to meet NBA defensive rule requirements, but that is doable.
    Guaranteed at least two technicals per game, minimum. The center down low would have to be constantly minding his defensive 3 seconds.

    All the offense would have to do is watch for him when he moves away from the paint and send in 2 cutters from opposite ends.

    I dont think it would work as our main defensive scheme, but it would be useful to sporadically use if we need to change the pace of a strong halfcourt opponent.

    Internationally, this defense works because they FIBA rules don't include defensive 3 seconds in the paint.
    Last edited by portega1968; Sep 03, 2010 at 16:38.

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    Member kukoc7's Avatar
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    One of the best 1-3-1 team ever
    (D'Antoni and father of Gallo in the picture, Coach Dan Peterson)


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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kukoc7
    One of the best 1-3-1 team ever
    (D'Antoni and father of Gallo in the picture, Coach Dan Peterson)

    LMAO did they actually run a 1-3-1????

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    Originally Posted by portega1968
    Guaranteed at least two technicals per game, minimum. The center down low would have to be constantly minding his defensive 3 seconds.

    All the offense would have to do is watch for him when he moves away from the paint and send in 2 cutters from opposite ends.

    I dont think it would work as our main defensive scheme, but it would be useful to sporadically use if we need to change the pace of a strong halfcourt opponent.

    Internationally, this defense works because they FIBA rules don't include defensive 3 seconds in the paint.
    hence the idea of match up zone to compensate for the rules. I agree that teams will eat up this zone if used too much.

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    Member kukoc7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paul1355
    LMAO did they actually run a 1-3-1????
    Yes, the 1-3-1 zone was the coach Dan Peterson "weapon" in the 80s in Italy, especially when he coached Olimpia Milano of MdA (and Dino Meneghin, hall of fame player).
    The surprise effect was devastating at that time.

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    If I recall last season, it was SG-Larry Hughes who kept pushing Jefferies to play at the top of the Zone, while Hughes covered the passing-lane alongside of Chandler. It was the first time u seen David Lee put effort to block 3 shots in the paint blocking 1 out of the 3. All 3 times lead to our fastbreak with Hughes pushing the ball to beat the Atlanta Hawks.
    That was the first time we seen Jefferies play defense at the top of the key for the Knicks. When Jefferies was on the Wizards he played at the top of key on a defensive zone to cover for Arenas in the Princeston offense (defense lead to a great offense). Isiah was to dum and clueless to understand Jefferies 6.11 height was always use for defense at the top of the key for the Wizard to force oponents turnovers with Hughes defense leading to a Arenas or Jamison highlight fastbreak.

    Lebron at the top of the key on defense with Snow & Hughes covering the passing lane lead the Cavs to the FINALS.

    Once Larry Hughes was DNP again by Dantoni, putting Jefferies at the top of the key on defense just slowed oponents down but never leading to any oponents turnover for the Knicks to get a basket on a fastbreak.

    u need an experience defensive player on the court that is familar with a 1-3-1 zone to make sure all his teammates cover certain spots when the offense screen for switches. The question is who will be that player?

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kiyaman
    If I recall last season, it was SG-Larry Hughes who kept pushing Jefferies to play at the top of the Zone, while Hughes covered the passing-lane alongside of Chandler. It was the first time u seen David Lee put effort to block 3 shots in the paint blocking 1 out of the 3. All 3 times lead to our fastbreak with Hughes pushing the ball to beat the Atlanta Hawks.
    That was the first time we seen Jefferies play defense at the top of the key for the Knicks. When Jefferies was on the Wizards he played at the top of key on a defensive zone to cover for Arenas in the Princeston offense (defense lead to a great offense). Isiah was to dum and clueless to understand Jefferies 6.11 height was always use for defense at the top of the key for the Wizard to force oponents turnovers with Hughes defense leading to a Arenas or Jamison highlight fastbreak.

    Lebron at the top of the key on defense with Snow & Hughes covering the passing lane lead the Cavs to the FINALS.

    Once Larry Hughes was DNP again by Dantoni, putting Jefferies at the top of the key on defense just slowed oponents down but never leading to any oponents turnover for the Knicks to get a basket on a fastbreak.

    u need an experience defensive player on the court that is familar with a 1-3-1 zone to make sure all his teammates cover certain spots when the offense screen for switches. The question is who will be that player?
    Good post and I personally think Anthony Randolph could play a Jared Jeffries type of role since he is not known for his post defense, but is great in the pursuit and blocking shots.

    Anthony at the top of the key is pretty tough because he is 6'11 with a 7'5 wingspan and moves like a guard and can steal the ball pretty well.

    Now if Azubuike was healthy he would play that role of Larry Hughes as you mentioned, but with him still hurt the guys that play the 2 are Chandler, Mason, and Walker.

    The man-to-man would be our primary defense but to change it up we can do this for a 1-3-1:
    Anthony at the top of the key, Chandler and Gallo covering the wings, Amare in the middle, Turiaf or Mozgov down low....you see that working out in spurts, Kiya?

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