Hawks Gaffe Gives Knicks Win

The Knicks got a much needed win Sunday night when they defeated the Hawks 106-104.

Carmelo Anthony was incredible, hitting 9-12 threes on his way to 42 points.   Melo went back to catching and shooting instead of playing one on one and the dividends were paid off immediately.  Chris Herring from the Wall Street Journal shows that here, along with John Schmelk from WFAN.com in this story.

All your numbers and details about when Carmelo Anthony is at his best are covered there.

Melo scored the go-ahead bucket with 12 seconds left that clinched the win.  Most of the time this would be looked back as a moment to celebrate (and it still was in the moment).

Mike Woodson ran an isolation for Anthony with him getting the ball on the left hand side just outside the elbow. Melo beat Josh Smith easily for an And-1. We will get back to the game winning play later.

First, I want to take a look at how Atlanta guarded Melo isolations in the second half of the fourth quarter, which there was plenty of tape to look at.  We will be using pictures with less of me writing.  (Because of the awesome rules the NBA has with LPBB when games are on ESPN I had to take pictures of my TV)

Play 1

picture1Play 2

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Play 3

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 1.23.59 PMPlay 4

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 1.24.25 PMPlay 5

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 1.26.00 PMPlay 6

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Each of those plays had a different outcome and none of them were the same exact look.  Atlanta doubled hard or shifted the defense to make sure whoever had Anthony would have help behind him.  The one common theme of the above six plays is that Melo didn’t get anywhere close to the rim.

Now look at the play Anthony scored the game-winning basket on:

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For the first time in any of the plays I have shown, Anthony has the entire side of the court to himself.  It does need to be noted that the possession before Melo was on the right wing one-on-one with Smith, but I don’t believe that was the plan here.

The Hawks’ defense breaks down because DeShawn Stevenson is on the wrong man.  Stevenson is guarding Stoudemire, which left Horford to chase J.R. Smith.   I take that back, Horford wasn’t chasing Smith; he was looking around confused because he didn’t know what the hell was going on.

One reason for the potential confusion is that in Hawks huddle they went on the assumption Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton would be playing.  This was the group Coach Woodson used for the majority of the fourth quarter.

Woody replaced Chandler with Novak and it screwed up the Hawks’ match-ups.  With Horford lost, Melo attacked quickly and there was no one to help.  Give credit to Anthony for taking advantage of the situation.

I have no idea what Korver is doing on the outside of Novak’s hip  — maybe someone in the front row offered him a beer, Stevenson is chest to chest with Amar’e and Teague is occupied with Felton.

After an entire quarter of shifting their entire defense towards Melo in different ways, on the final possession Hawks head coach Larry Drew decides to ignore the guy who had 39 points at the time?

I find that highly unlikely.  The more logical reasoning stems from poor basketball awareness from the Hawks players on the court.

Anthony put the ball in the hoop and the Knicks came away with a win, but it was more about what the Hawks did wrong than what New York did right.