This is from Sunday night with the Knicks hosting the Bucks. When Coach Mike D'Antoni left the Suns to go coach the Knicks, I wondered what kind of offense they would play right from the outset. The current Knicks don't have the same makeup as the run and gun Suns so I wondered if D'Antoni might compromise his principles and coach the players that he has.

I have only watched 1 Knick game so far, so in taking that into consideration, I might be making some gross over-generalizations. But from what I saw, the Knicks of 2008/09 are in for a rough ride. I took some clips of their 7 seconds or less offense from the first half, here are some of the lowlights,

Not real pretty, 3 bad turnovers in the first quarter of play. What I wanted to do is to show the contrast between how the Suns run the Spread PNR and how the Knicks are attempting to run it. We'll start first with the Suns,

Suns Spread PNR:

Steve Nash is really the key that runs their PNR (no suprise there). Having a dynamic go get it forward like Amare Stoudamire is the other key. After the PNR is set, see how Nash gets into the middle of the floor, he keeps his dribble alive and he doesn't panic by jumping in the air, or throwing the ball into traffic, he's probing, reading the defense. Amare cuts to the basket, and Bell comes up to replace,

All 5 guys are spaced nicely, look how spread they are. On the defensive switch, Amare jumps over his shorter defender and Nash finds him for the alley-oop,

Knicks Attempt at Spread PNR:

Couple of lowlights. After the PNR, watch as Crawford makes the cardinal sin of jumping into the air before he knows what he wants to do with the ball,

Here Duhon makes a bounce pass right into 2 defenders,


I'm a firm believer in whatever system you run has to fit the players you have. The Spread PNR, requires that you have the kind of point guard that can read the defense and make smart instinctual decisions. The Knicks lack that at the moment, they have a bunch of scoring point guards that only have 1 thing on their mind, score. That is going to be a problem. It will be interesting to see how long D'Antoni stays with this, knowing Knick fans, they aren't the patient type.

For the best video on the spread PNR offense, take a look at Billy Donovan's DVD on the Spread Offense. Coach Donovan used it to win back-to-back national championships at Florida. As always, please check out the X's and O's Basketball forum to talk hoops and exchange notes and ideas.