- Posted: 3:13 PM, March 5, 2012
D'Antoni's philosophy has been unbending since taking over the Knicks and has met a lot of bad endings. Paul Pierce hit the 3-point dagger over Iman Shumpert with 4.9 seconds left to send Sunday's game to overtime and the Celtics carried home the victory. It was a very tough shot, off-balance, but D'Antoni still heard the critics back home.
According to D'Antoni, he said the stat service the Knicks use confirms his belief and he said most coaches agree with him. D'Antoni said the service has tracked games since 1995 and teams who don't foul with 10 seconds left or less and up three, win roughly 93 percent of the games.
Teams who do foul in the same circumstance win 90 percent of the games. D'Antoni said players also prefer to play straight-up defense and not worry about fouling intentionally to extend the game.
“It's a three percentage points difference,’’ D'Antoni said after Monday's practice at AmericanAirlines Center. "With 10 seconds to go you have a helluva chance to win. You ask most players, they don’t want to foul. Because you don’t want to be that guy to have to go down (the other end) and make those two foul shots.''
D'Antoni feels players like Pierce are too smart to not turn the intentional foul into a shooting foul.
"The philosophy is not to foul but you say that with an asterisk,'' D'Antoni said. "Down below 5 seconds and they’re in the 2-point (range) and you can get a good shot at somebody, you do it. But Paul Pierce has the ball and he’s like this (in shooting motion). You can’t foul him. Because he’ll go up. He’s smart enough.
"Now do you foul him with 10 seconds and you just do everything we just did. If you get it down to eight seconds, maybe. They make theirs (free throws). They foul you immediately. Seven seconds left. You miss one foul shot. They’re coming at you and you’re defending the two.'
"You put the onus on the referee to make a call that's dubious,'' D'Antoni added. "If you pick the ball up, it’s a shooting foul. That’s why most coaches won’t do it. It’s hard.''
D'Antoni gave a curious answer when asked if defensive assistant Mike Woodson has same approach.
"I don’t think that really matters, to be honest with you,'' D'Antoni said. "Because guess who gets fired? But he is in agreement. I don’t know because I don’t think I’ve asked him.’’