The Knicks right now are coming together with a good balance. Not only of offense/defense but also between MDA's SSOL offensive philosophy and the half court style that some of our best players thrive under.
It has not been a cut and dry meld between these styles but more of a constant transition between the two, effectively right now our team plays SSOL or half-court or a mix from game to game. The best part is it's working.
I noticed this trend over the last five games. Against Orlando we started trying to play up-tempo but realised quickly it wasn't going to work. For four periods (2-4 +OT) we played a constant, grinding half court effort on both sides of the ball, and we won the game. We should have even won this game with a reasonably comfortable 5-7 point margin in regulation.
Against New Jersey in both games (including tonights up to the 4th) we have played SSOL down to the tee. Every possession has been pushed up quicky and has regularly resulted in the quick open look.
I actually think MDA has decided that a Melo ISO is a perfectly acceptable play in the SSOL because when Melo takes a midrange contested jumpshot it still has a 50%+ chance of falling.
When the Nets pulled it close in the second game of the 5 we switched into half court. We slowed it down and grinded through their run and eventually locked up the win.
Against Toronto and Cleveland it was the same pattern. Run and gun out to a big lead and if they cut it close we switch to half court. At Philly we did exactly the same!
Our defense is still coming together but the effort is there for 90% of every game now. Right now the Knicks actually look MORE dangerous than MDA's Suns team.
The Suns could run and gun but that was all. They also had no defense to speak of. The Knicks can run and gun, slow things down and grind out wins against top East teams, mix and switch between the two on the fly, and play defense.