After watching the game again, I was actually impressed with the Knicks defensive scheme today. They made the Magic beat them from the outside and the Magic did. But the Magic closed the game by sitting in zone and watching the Knicks miss shot after shot. Amar'e was into a nice rhythm, but they just couldn't find him in the paint to get good looks and were forced to settle from the outside.
With all their efforts defensively the Knicks have improved. And they've done it without slowing down their team pace, which ranks 4th in the league. Their total defensive rating is now 8th. Unfortunately, the team has dropped to 23rd in the NBA in offense and that is largely because they can't get Stoudemire and Melo in the lineup together or to have cohesion when they are. I think that can improve.
What also has to improve, as we all know, is the shot making ability of the backcourt. Consider this. Landry Fields has played 359 minutes and has made 35 fields goals. He's made just 6 threes, which is 1 less than Ryan Anderson made TODAY.
That's the Knicks starting shooting guard.
Toney Douglas, who was a three point threat last year making 143 for the season has just 13, which is one more than Jorts Harrelson.
The fact is the team is shooting just 41% from the field and 31% from three. Those numbers have to improve and you'd think they will. What's encouraging is that they are establishing themselves as an improved defensive team and now they are in the top 10.