Il sito www.nba.com pubblica questa analisi della ennesima decisione controcorrente del nativo di Mullens : niente walk-through il mattino della partita.
Mike D’Antoni has always been one to go against the grain of NBA tradition. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that he was the coach to do away with morning shootarounds.
For quite some time (Lakers coach Bill Sharman came up with the idea in the early 70s), every team has gotten together the morning (10 a.m. is typical) of a game to go over the game plan for that night’s opponent, except on the second day of a back-to-back. For the Knicks, with their practice facility 30 miles north of Madison Square Garden, all the extra driving could take something out of you by game time.
So this year, for home games only, D’Antoni is instead having his team sleep in and report to the Garden at 3:30 in the afternoon for 7:30 starts. They do their walk-through then, followed by a team meal and their typical pre-game preparation.
For the record, the Knicks were 20-21 at home last season. And they were more efficient offensively at home (107.3 points per 100 possessions) than they were on the road (103.8). That 3.5 points per 100 possessions difference was just above the league average for home-road variation.
The other end of the floor is another story. Home teams were 3.4 points per 100 possessions better defensively at home than they were on the road last year, but the Knicks were not as good defensively at the Garden (allowing 108.3 points per 100 possessions) than they were away from it (108.1).
Knicks opponents actually shot worse from the field in New York (0.506 EFG%) than they did in their own arenas (0.500), but they got to the line more often (25.2 vs. 21.3 FTA/Poss), didn’t turn the ball over as much (14.3 vs. 14.8 TO/Poss) and got more offensive rebounds (0.274 vs. 0.271 OReb Rate). Perhaps, with all that time (and a nap) in between shootaround and the game, and with all that driving to do, the Knicks forgot the defensive game plan (if they had one in the first place).
EFG% = Effective field-goal percentage = (FGM + (0.5*3PM))/FGA
FTA/Poss = Free throw attempts per 100 possessions
TO/Poss = Turnovers per 100 possessions
OReb Rate = Offensive rebounding rate = Off. Reb./(Off. Reb. + Opp. Def. Reb.
Seemingly confirming that idea, Chris Duhon said yesterday that the benefits of the new routine are “more mental than physical.”
“We know when we get here that it’s time to be focused and get ready to play,” added David Lee.
The Knicks are 1-1 in the preseason with the new routine, with a loss to the Sixers and a win over the Nets. The good news is that they’ve held their opponents to an effective field-goal percentage of just 0.441 in those two games. The bad news is that they’re own EFG% is just 0.400.
So, D’Antoni’s idea is apparently keeping his team sharper mentally on the defensive end of the floor, it’s screwed up their ability to shoot the ball. Of course, two games is a very small sample size. We’ll revisit the Knicks’ numbers later in the season.