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The Ball didnt Drop: Here's How to Beat the Zone.

3 for 36 the most putrid three-point shooting night in New York Knicks history. This night followed a four-game beginning to the season where the Knicks led the season in three-point shooting percentage. The ball didn't drop, but that percentage sure did!

The Toronto Raptors were smart. They viewed the Knicks league-leading three-point percentage as an anomaly and decided to test their mettle. It worked. The Raptors played Zone in the second half and open three after wide-open three; the Knicks couldn't find the bottom of the net from three-point range. Or any other range for that matter.

2-1-2 Zone; 2-3 Zone; bad shooting, sounds like a high school basketball game, doesn't it? If the Knicks plan to have any form of success, they will need to figure out how to beat the Zone.

Here is how. If the defense is in an even front zone (2-1-2 or 2-3), then they will need an odd number of players up top to counter the even front. If it's an odd front (1-2-2 or 1-3-1), the Knicks will need an even number of players up top to counter the odd front.

Now, the Knicks must swing the ball to make the defense shift while sending flashers into the gaps of the Zone. (Since I'm on the road while writing this post, I'll show you a video breakdown of the zone gaps and how to attack them in another post.) To hit the flashers in the gaps, the Knicks need to make a decent percentage from the three-point line to spread the floor and make the gaps wider. If the Knicks can't hit threes, teams will use the Zone to clog the lane, seal the gaps, and neutralize penetration.

Clearly, shooting isn't an easy task for the Knicks. The return of Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley will possibly give the Knicks the consistent three-point shooting necessary to beat the Zone. Until then...

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