NBA Analysis: Getting the Best Out of Knicks' Steve Novak

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Steve Novak is like, soooooooo good from 3. In fact he’s leading the NBA in percentage. But what happens when teams like the Bulls or Heat stay at home on him? Novak is elite at what he does well (3 pointers) but that’s basically the only thing you can say he really does well (although he’s probably not given credit for doing some other things adequately).

So he’s worthless when he’s covered right?

Judging by Twitter chatter there’s plenty of fans who think that if the defense is dictating that Novak is not going to get an open look from deep, then his value is parched and withered, and that Woodson should bench him.

That’s probably wrong. The right thing to do with Novak is probably to run him around screens if the D is playing him tight to get him open looks from deep. He’ll get you that 3 pointer nearly half the time. I’m not suggesting that the Knicks should run the offense through Novak, but a few plays here and there would not hurt. Woodson hasn’t done that.

So if Woodson won’t do that, then Novak should sit right? If he can’t shoot he has no use right? That’s probably wrong too.

You see, I learned form watching John Starks in the 90s that if the defense didn’t double because they were afraid of leaving Starks open, then Ewing got a much cleaner look dominating his man one-on-one.

Currently, the Knicks have another elite one-on-one scorer. Setting up Novak on the same side as ‘Melo, whether ‘Melo is posting or on the wing, will either get ‘Melo a much cleaner look (if a team, like Chicago or Miami, doesn’t leave Novak), or Novak is going to get a clean look at a three.

So even if Novak isn’t getting screens for open shots, he still has serious value, even if he doesn’t shoot.

Get more great New York Knicks analysis over at KnicksFan.


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