New York Knicks point-guard Elfrid Payton Jr. could be just what the Knicks need. Last season, Payton’s former team, the New Orleans Pelicans started the season on fire winning four of their first five games. During the four game streak, Payton averaged 14.5-points and 7-assists per game. After the Pelicans began last season with the four game winning streak, their starting point-guard Elfrid Payton suffered a knee injury during a home game against the Brooklyn Nets. Payton then played only fifteen minutes during the following game against the Utah Jazz. The red hot Pelicans first loss of the season came against the Utah Jazz. Elfrid Payton would then miss thirty one of his next thirty two games. During the span of 31-games without Payton, the Pelicans had twelve wins and twenty nine losses (12-29).
Many Pelican fans felt as if Payton’s presence on the basketball court was crucial for the success of the team. He was able to get teammates involved and always ended up on the positive side in terms of plus-minus stats. Therefore, the question about the Elfrid Payton effect is definitely a legit question.
Elfrid Payton has secured his fifth consecutive triple-double, becoming just the fifth player in #NBA history to do so, joining Russell Westbrook, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. #DoItBig
— Pelicans PR (@PelicansPR) March 19, 2019
The New York Knicks have individuals that can score. Elfrid Payton’s presence and ability to run an offense will definitely be needed. Many are calling for Payton to start at point guard because of his influence on the offensive end of the floor. Once chemistry is built, it’s possible for the Knicks to score 130-plus points on any given night due to Payton’s savvy style, unselfish play and basketball IQ.
#Pelicans are now 9-2 this season when Elfrid Payton plays and 8-1 when he plays a "full game" (20+ minutes). New Orleans has scored 130+ pts six times this season, including in four of Payton's nine high-minutes games, but just twice in the other 33 games #ElfridEffect
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) January 10, 2019
Overall, Elfrid Payton will be loved by Knick fans because of his selflessness and his decent defense. It doesn’t hurt that Scott Perry and Payton have history from another team. Its very possible that the Elfrid Payton effect if healthy can be crucial in making the Knicks offense unrecognizable for the better.
Here's what the Pelicans have scored in games Elfrid Payton has played at least 20 minutes this season:
He finished the night with 9 points and 6 assists in 24 minutes.
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) January 1, 2019
#Pelicans are 7-2 when Elfrid Payton plays, 6-1 when Payton logs 20+ minutes (only L Wednesday at Bkn). Even though Payton has played in only nine of NOLA's 40 games, he's appeared in three of Pels' best four three-point shooting games percentage-wise (51.9% at Cle) #ElfridEffect
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) January 6, 2019