D'Antoni says 3-pointers all part of Knicks' plan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Judging by the reduced number of 3-point attempts by the Knicks in Wednesday's win at Sacramento, and the increased number of pump fakes and inside buckets, Mike D'Antoni said he thinks his team is getting the hang of his speedball offense immortalized in the book "Seven Seconds or Less.''
D'Antoni said he feels it unfair fans are viewing his speedball system as a bunch of guys hoisting treys early in the shot clock. They took only 15 3-pointers in Sacramento, compared to 31 in Denver.
D'Antoni, whose Knicks are 4-8 entering Friday's game in Golden State, captured the "who-to-blame'' survey on the Knicks' slow start that ran this week on The Post's website, racking up 48.5 percent of the vote.
In some ways, shooting early before the defense sets up is a key ingredient to D'Antoni's philosophy that was so successful in Phoenix. The legendary basketball writer Jack McCallum wrote a book on the Suns system and called it "Seven Seconds or Less.''
But D'Antoni made a point to clarify that McCallum's nickname is a bit of a misnomer.
"We don't want to jack up 3s early in the shot clock,'' D'Antoni said at the morning shootaround at the Olympic Club. "There's a difference. If you're wide open and we get it down and they get you on the numbers, go ahead. Why find a worst shot if it's a good shot?
"We don't want you coming down, maybe off the dribble, and you're shooting 25 percent and jack it up. And we did that a few times. All you have to do is talk to them. They're starting to tone it down without destroying their confidence, without strict rules. We want them to be smart basketball players.''
D'Antoni points out that the Knicks are 12th in the NBA in paint points and sixth in free throw attempts, which demonstrates they are driving. Though the Knicks are second in 3-point attempts, D'Antoni said the perception that's all they do is distorted.
"Those are impressions of people who don't really study the tape,'' D'Antoni said. "Because we jack up a couple of 3s, they think that's all we're doing. Statistics don't show that.''
I guess (when we were losing 6 straight) I was dreaming about all those missed 3's. Thank God coach is here to set me straight.