"Starting with Kobe Bryant's masterpiece at the Garden and ending 26 days later with Dwyane Wade's fourth-quarter brilliance inMiami, February turned out to be a month to remember for a few NBAsuperstars who had the good fortune to come across the Knicks.A valid point, and a well written piece, but I'm not sure I fully understand. Not being able to stop Kobe, Lebron, Wade - and to a lesser extend, Roy - shows that the Knicks don't defend particularly well?
"Wade's 46-point outburst...served as the perfect bookend to Bryant's 61-point, record-breaking night....Sandwiched in between, the Knicks' defensive shortcomings were exposed.
"There was LeBron James scoring 51 points and posting a near triple-double in Cleveland's win in New York. Then the Celtics rallied with a 38-point fourth quarter in their win at the Garden to close out Dream Week. Two days later, the Knicks failed to foul theBlazers' Brandon Roy in the final seconds before he hit the game-winner at the buzzer.
"One way [to do a better job down the stretch] will be if they can come up with stops."
First off - the Knicks don't defend particularly well. That is a given, apparent in their ppg allowed and overall record. But to use the highlight reels of the three best all around players in the league as a microcosm for the Knicks current "peril" seems a bit simplistic. If that were the barometer for team defense, you could insert a dozen different team names into this article and it would still ring true.
I think Lawrence's misstep is that maybe the Knicks don't need a defender so much as they need a guy who is be able to counter these types of knockout shots to the dome. Granted defense is something the Knicks need to improve on - I wholeheartedly agree, no two ways around it - but in recounting what went wrong THIS month, I'd argue that we were exposed for missing a guy who can go step for step (or as close to it as humanly possible) with these type of elite scorers more so than a guy who can slide step and face guard with them for a full 48.
I mean, Nate Robinson is currently our answer to Dwayne Wade. Don't over look that.
With D'Antoni holding the clipboard, I'd rather see us focus on grooming somebody who can catch up to these guys rather than somebody to slow them down...