3 Keys for the New York Knicks to beat the Lakers

RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, Derrick Rose, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Knicks
Taj Gibson, New York Knicks.Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

Knicks: take advantage of Laker’s mediocre outside shooting

This goes hand in hand with the strategy to get the ball out of Davis’ hands. The Lakers are a team that has struggled mightily on offense this year, only ranking 24th in offensive efficiency on the season. This is obviously mostly due to injury but their 3 point shooting is also underwhelming as they only shoot 35% from 3 as a team, a mark that ranks 21st in the league.

The Lakers do have some snipers on their team but they also have some players that are struggling from outside. The Knicks need to be selective with who they decide to help off of.  Wesley Matthew is having a down year from outside, only shooting 33% from 3. Talen Horton-Tucker has been a pleasant surprise as a rookie but he’s only shooting 26% from 3. Andre Drummond isn’t a threat to score outside of the paint.

New York needs to send double teams and Davis and force the Laker’s below-average 3 point shooters to have to hit open shots. This isn’t a foolproof defensive strategy because even bad shooters can catch fire but the Knicks are better off with this strategy than allowing Davis to isolate his defender and get hot.

Final Key: Forcing turnovers will be vital for the Knicks

The last defensive strategy for the Knicks in preparation for the Laker game will be to force turnovers. Part of what’s contributed to the Lakers’ mediocre offense has been their turnovers. The Lakers are one of the worst turnover teams in the league, currently averaging 15.3 turnovers a game which ranks 28th in the league.

They have been careless with the ball all season. Especially with Schroder and possibly LeBron James out, the Knicks need to pressure ball handlers, force difficult cross-court passes, and play the passing lanes for steals. In New York’s win against the Lakers in April they forced them into a season-high 25 turnovers. If the Knicks have another aggressive defensive outing that leads to the Lakers coughing up the ball a ton, they have a great chance to secure the W.

Next. The Knicks are missing Mitchell Robinson's physicality. dark