My favorite version of this song, naturally, is performed by Frank Sinatra. That’s irrelevant, but why don’t you play it while reading?
I’m talking about three-point shooting.
Through three games, the New York Knicks are shooting 97-for-71 from three point range, improbably making 136.6 percent of their attempts from long distance, a mathematical impossibility that has observers and scientists baffled.
Okay, not quite, but they are shooting better than 45 percent so far from deep, or put another way, it is as if the team has declared, “We are all Steve Novaks now.”
The Dallas Mavericks, tonight’s opponent, are allowing opponents to shoot just 22-for-88 from three-point range. That’s 25 percent, or put another way, they’ve turned their opponents, collectively, into roughly last season’s Landry Fields from three.
Now, let me be clear: the Knicks aren’t likely to keep shooting so well from long range. But even though their three wins over Miami and Philadelphia came at the expense of otherwise good teams, neither one has distinguished itself in defending the three-pointer.
So what I wonder, and will be watching for this evening, is not if the Knicks regress in making threes, but instead, whether their passing game and interior threats produce a comparable number of open looks beyond the arc against a Dallas defense particularly good at preventing them.
I think that’s probably the most important thing we’ll learn tonight. That, and whether Marcus Camby is ready to assume important minutes for the team.
That’s what’s on my mind. What are you guys thinking about?