StatsCube: Knicks D-Less in the Fourth

Whether it’s time to panic or not, the New York Knicks have not been very good over the last two weeks. They’ve lost seven of their last eight games and are now 7-10 since trading for Carmelo Anthony.

While coach Mike D’Antoni points to his team’s offense getting bogged down by the ball sticking too much, pre-and post-trade numbers point to the Knicks’ defense — which wasn’t good in the first place, but has been terrible since the trade.

Knicks’ efficiency, 2010-11

Timeframe Pace Rank Off. Eff. Rank Def. Eff. Rank
Pre-break 98.7 2 107.6 7 106.1 20
Post-break 96.4 9 108.9 8 109.4 26

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes

Off. Eff. = Points scored per 100 possessions

Def. Eff. = Points allowed per 100 possessions

Last week, we noted how bad the Knicks’ defense was with Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire on the floor. Four games later, that defensive efficiency number is even worse: 111.4 points allowed per possessions when the two stars are in the game. Anthony and Stoudemire are now a minus-12 in 475 minutes together.

After Wednesday’s loss to the Orlando Magic, both Stoudemire and D’Antoni blamed fatigue on the Knicks’ struggles. And there may be something to that. Fatigue generally shows up in the fourth quarter and on defense, and that’s when and where the Knicks have really struggled.

Knicks’ post-trade efficiency, by quarter

Quarter Pace Off. Eff. Def. Eff. Diff.
First 97.0 107.0 114.5 -7.5
Second 94.6 118.1 102.8 +15.3
Third 99.0 106.7 98.8 +7.9
Fourth 95.1 104.1 121.8 -17.7

Now, one reason for such atrocious fourth-quarter defense could be fouls to extend the game. But only 35 of the Knicks’ opponents 172 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter since the trade have come with less than a minute to go.

Before the trade, the Knicks were much more consistent defensively from quarter to quarter…

Knicks’ pre-trade efficiency, by quarter

Quarter Pace Off. Eff. Def. Eff. Diff.
First 102.2 105.1 108.9 -3.8
Second 100.9 110.3 106.6 +3.7
Third 98.8 105.7 102.7 +3.0
Fourth 93.2 108.9 105.8 +3.1

The Knicks have led 10 of their 17 games since the trade at the end of the third quarter, and have lost four of those 10 games. They’ve been outscored in 11 of the 17 fourth quarters they’ve played, including each of the last four. They’ve give up 26 or more points in the fourth quarter in 12 of the 17 games, and 30 or more in seven.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the Knicks are doing just fine offensively. In many ways, bad offense can lead to bad defense. But clearly, the Knicks don’t have the ability to bear down and win ugly.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. Nisha- Let's Talk says:

    Let’s face it, the Knicks aren’t that good.. Will they be next year?? Maybe.. but now, they should just be happy that they have the #7 spot..

  2. knickfan212 says:

    Maybe they need to only play one of their two stars at a time, just for this season’s end.They can’t get it together when on the floor at the same time. When the opposition makes adjustments for one, send him to the bench and put in the other one.Alternate!! Do this throughout the game. Wait until off season to work out an identity. Instead of trying to figure out how to play them together they need to work on that defense because it is horrible. You have all summer to figure out how to put them together. The way it looks now they will get swept right out of the playoffs.

  3. Die hard knick says:

    i love the Knicks but so far things are not going well, they pretend everything is under control but they don’t show it on the court, Melo and Amare’ needs to communicate on the floor more, the franchise depends on them heavily, there defense is horrible.. the knicks need size and shooters to compliment there stars, they’re a work in progress, hopefully next season may be better but i don’t see them going far into the playoffs this season.. they should get Galo again somehow from Denver or trade for Nash or Paul, that should be fun..

    • Knickelodeon says:

      Lol are you serious? Chauncey is way better than nash and chris paul. They dont need an point guard. Mr. Big Shot is one of the bests. They need an forward and an better bench….. I cant believe what you just said….

  4. Knickelodeon says:

    Lol Heat sucks….. Knicks owned them the last game they had together.

  5. Maruful says:

    That’s what happens when you get all all stars in your team. They need to learn to work together. That’s exactly what just happened to the heat but soon, they learned how to work together and went beast. That’ll happen to the knicks once they learn how to work together and they’ll be beast. It’ll take some time but never lose hope for the knicks.

  6. Knickelodeon says:

    I mean they cant have 3 *people* doing all the work. Mistake from my last comment.

  7. Knickelodeon says:

    The knicks were great after like 4 games after the trade. Then, they started getting worse and worse. In my opinion, this is all because of the knicks bench. They all score like only 5 points and some dont even make any!!!!! They need to get some better players for the bench like Lamar Odom next season and they will be the next San Antonio Spurs. They cant only have 3 games doing all the work!!! Thats like 3 people averaging 20 points so like only 60 points an game plus like 15 from the bench? Thats just sad…..

  8. vzl says:

    Not all good basketball players are winners – Melo is one of them !

  9. Yeah I Said It. . And I Will Say It Again. says:

    KobeFan. . . .you need to sit and watch a NBA game or maybe a Bulls game cause you sound ignorant LMAO!!! I am a Boston fan and know Derrick Rose deserves the MVP this year. . . be careful when you poin the finger at someone else (downfalls) because you always have three more fingers pointing back at you when you point. . . . . I hope you don’t think Kobe should get it???? Radiation from Japan found its way into some Lakers homes the way they talk sometimes. . .LMAO Derrick Rose dont deserve a MVP. . .Crazy talk, I am a NBA fan first before a Boston fan so I can appreciate

  10. KobeFan says:

    Everyone on these forums needs to learn how to spell and form decent sounding sentences. Take a break from watching the NBA, and maybe work on your English homework. Then after enough practice come back and argue. The Knicks will not beat the Boston. The Lakers will only make the finals if Bynum and Kobe can be consistent. Oh and Derrick Rose hardly deserves MVP.

    • Kingsfan says:

      Hmm, making comments about spelling and decent sounding sentences are you? Lets repeat couple of yours –

      The Knicks will not beat the Boston.
      Everyone on these forums needs to learn how to spell and form decent sounding sentences. ( i didn’t know sentences made a sound??)

      As for your last comment, D-Rose hardly deserves MVP?!? That to me is the least decent sentence you typed!

  11. Kingsfan says:

    Why are we seeing stats that Knicks can’t play defense? I think everyone in the basketball world knows this. It’s so funny to also hear how this trade was better for who still after a month after the trade. Both sides got what they wanted. In the long run Denver made out because they were going to lose Melo and got pieces. What else needs to be said? Neither team are going to be making noise in the playoffs.

    • Champkobe says:

      I disagree. I still think denver is underrated, and denver will give whoever they face (OKC or dallas) a hard time with their depth and their speed

      • Kingsfan says:

        I will give you Dallas, they will give them a good run but if they play OKC its over in 5. Denver doesn’t have a go to person in clutch moments and everyone from 1-5 for the Thunder can play D(Durant probably being the weakest one). And with that said, who is going to guard Durant? Don’t get me wrong, Denver is playing inspirtational “team” basketball right now and they are very fun to watch, but if they draw anyone other than Dalls their summer will start very early.

  12. knicks23 says:

    And as far as the nuggets go, everybody saying their a better team without melo is crazy. Melo made the nuggets who they are now, before he got their they were losers and guarantee they wont get out the first round of the playoffs.

    • Champkobe says:

      So are you saying the knicks will?

    • Nick says:

      It would be great if somehow the nuggets and Knicks could meet in a 7 game series , but it’s never gonna happen , but if it did I would take the nuggets every time ! Knicks are a joke at the moment, no D, plus if they shoot they all just stop dead in their tracks ! Go Nets !

    • TWizz says:

      @ knicks23 haha your obviously saying that because your a knicks fan and melo is there. even if the nuggets dont get out the first round, it wouldnt be any different as it was with melo there. they got kicked out the first round every year, except for when BILLUPS came. he was the factor in them making the west finals.

  13. knicks23 says:

    the knicks are a better team than what their showing. its a matter of effort which they dont show late in games. They definitely can play with any team in the league as long as billups, amare and melo is on the same page.

  14. Gary says:

    The people predicting that the Nicks will upset the Heat are crazy.

    • prix' says:

      they will get burn if they face the heat in the 1st round but surely they can upset the aging Boston..and all the Laker fans celebrate…but I dont think L.A reach the finals as

      • Nick says:

        Upset Boston ! You having a laugh ! Boston are by far a more cleverer team than the Knicks will ever be ! Oh and that showed this week !

      • Champkobe says:

        Must be out of your mind, i dont think these knickers can even “upset” PHILLY.

  15. Zech Dike says:


  16. I was one of those opposed to making the Anthony trade on the grounds that the last thing this team needed was another offensive player. Even I, however, didn’t think they would be this bad. I question whether the Knicks can ever win under this coach’s philosophy.

    • prix' says:

      Melo is a great player but he is not the answer to the Knicks problem and in the playoffs he could be a factor..but Billups is the key for their success..dont wory knick fans they will be Ok in the playoffs..surely they could upset the Boston