GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Steve Novak knows he's a marked man.
The Knicks' sharpshooter understands teams are going to really focus on him, given that he led the NBA in three-point percentage this season, becoming only the second player in franchise history to do so. But the Heat appears to be taking the whole "keying" thing to another level.
"Yeah, there's no doubt," Novak said after practice at the team's training facility Saturday. "I mean, when I come on the court, I hear all five guys yelling my name, which is strange. But if I make a quick move from the right side of the court to the left side, they are all just yelling. So I know it's a point of emphasis, which I think we expect.
"We know that when I'm in there with Melo, it's my job to spread the floor and knock down shots. I think they know if they take that away, that's a big piece."
Miami has been making it downright uncomfortable for Novak in this series. He has only nine points in three games, shooting 3-for-7 and failing to truly make any sort of impact -- not even in his Game 3 start Thursday, when he missed his two shots in the Knicks' 87-70 loss. But he could find himself in a more familiar role in Game 4 at the Garden Sunday.
Mike Woodson is leaning toward bringing Novak off the bench rather than starting him again if Amar'e Stoudemire's lacerated hand keeps him sidelined for a second straight game.
"They are just not leaving him and we've got to try to figure out how to find shots for him," the Knicks' interim coach said. "They are really making their rotations very nicely to get to him and our pick-and-roll basketball.
"We've got to figure out something because he's been a big part of our offense coming off the bench making shots. So I will probably bring him back off the bench for sure, put him back in his comfort zone and then see if we can find him some shots."
That's perfectly fine with Novak.
"Yeah, I'm definitely more comfortable coming off the bench," he said. "That's been my common role. It's almost like the pace of the game is already set and you get to watch it for a second. There's no doubt. I think you see guys like Jason Terry who like coming off the bench and Manu [Ginobili] and those guys. You can see why. Those guys, who can obviously start on any team in the NBA, say, 'Hey, I kind of like it because there is a different feel to it.' "
Woodson said the Knicks have to set adequate screens when they are utilizing their pick-and-roll offensive scheme, something he thinks they didn't execute all that well in Thursday's loss.
Still, Novak put the onus on himself to find ways to get the sliver of space he needs to get his shot off, mentioning he has to be aggressive and move around more.
Either way, the Knicks probably aren't going to climb back into this series if Novak can't get going.
"You have to take your hat off to Miami. They scout, they prepare," Carmelo Anthony said. "They know Novak is a shooter. They try not to give him any space and they've been doing a great job at that. So it's up to us to find opportunities for Novak when it presents itself."