Start spreading the news – the Knicks fixed their offensive issues


Let’s face it, no one saw this coming from the Knicks, right?

Even when they surprised everyone and made the playoffs a year ago. Even when they took the field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

They have exceeded all expectations, and they are starting again to start the 2021-22 NBA season.

Powered by a stingy defense – with a defensive rating of 107.8, good for the league’s fourth-best last season – the Knicks worked their way to victory, adopting an old-fashioned mindset to maintain their opponents under 100 points 24 times. They got used to winning rock fighting type games, but often struggled whenever they found themselves in a high scoring affair.

In the 24 games they played against opponents under 100 points, New York was 20-4. In 21 games where he allowed 110 or more points, his record dropped drastically from 7-14.

Randle’s breakout season propelled his offense through a few problems, averaging 24.1 points, 6.0 assists and 2.3 to 3 points per game while shooting 41.1 percent from deep. Other than him, it was RJ Barrett (17.6 PPG) and Derrick Rose (14.9 PPG) who scored the majority of points, with players like Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley, Reggie Bullock and Elfrid Payton all in double digits. , although less than 13 points per game each.

The Knicks’ inability to score was revealed in the playoffs once Randle turned freezing, posting just 18.0 points per game on a horrific 29.8 percent shot from the field. Rose has become a primary scoring option with Barrett and Burks also stepping up, but New York’s best-known issue was exposed by the Atlanta Hawks in a first-round outing in just five games.

(NBA Getty Images)

New York was expected to rely heavily on defense again to be successful this season, a notion common to teams coached by Thibodeau. And while it’s only been six games, it hasn’t been this season.

With goalscorers and playmakers high on their wishlist this offseason, the Knicks came out and got All-Star goalie Kemba Walker four times and a nifty bucket-getter to Evan Fournier to try and help solve. their problems. And at this early stage of the season, it pays off.

They went from the league’s 22nd attacking last season to the league’s second-best attacking this season with an offensive rating of 114.5.

Again, it’s not even 10 games, but we should go all the way back to 2012-13 to find the last time the Knicks had a top-five offense in the league.

Randle has proven all skeptics wrong, maintaining his offensive numbers from last year to 20.8 points, 6.5 assists and 1.8 threes per game. He’s had more help at that end of the floor this year, with Fournier and Walker having an immediate impact averaging 17.5 and 15.0 points per game respectively.

As a result, Barrett’s field goal attempts fell to 13.2 per game, but he still averages 17.2 points, while Rose still thrives in a sixth man role, averaging 12.3 points. per game.

The biggest difference was their 3-point shot, averaging 16.7 trebles per game at the top of the league. Last season, they were among the bottom 10 in the league in 3 points per game, averaging just 11.8 points in depth.

Walker and Fournier increased this number, on average more than 3.5 long bales. With Rose, Randle, Barrett and Burks all converting over 1.5-3 points per game, the Knicks have relied on 3-point shooting as their primary source of offense. There is no better proof than breaking a franchise record of 24 3 in their second game of the season in a win over the Orlando Magic.

New York’s defense hasn’t been as strong as last year so far with a defensive rating of 108.0, who ranks 21st in the league as of this writing. But it is surely far from their worries, because it seems that they have found an answer to their biggest problem. They already have one of the best records in the NBA, but once the defense starts to click, be careful.

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