4 stats to show the New York Knicks are the ‘real deal’

knicks, kemba walker

The Knicks‘ loss to the Orlando Magic this past weekend looks like a stain on a rather impressive start to the 2021–22 season. Since falling to a young Orlando team, New York has bounced back to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers and undefeated Chicago Bulls on Thursday evening.

Against Chicago, the Knicks did their best to try and blow the game with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, failing to score a single point. However, elite defense by young shooting guard RJ Barrett was just enough to force an errant shot by DeMar DeRozan.

However, the Knicks showed resiliency, which is what good teams do in the face of adversity.

The Knicks are proving they are the real deal this season, despite only playing five games. Let’s take a look at a few early statistics that indicate their growth and success so far.

1.) 3-PT percentage

Head coach Tom Thibodeau made it a priority to increase the team’s three-point attempts this season, but he wanted clean looks at the basket and not poor shot selections.

So far, the Knicks rank 5th in three-point attempts per game, but 4th in efficiency at 38%. Against the Bulls, the Knicks shot 38% from range, but against the 76ers earlier this week, they shot 43%.

If the team can maintain that level of success, they will be an incredibly difficult unit to overcome, especially if their defense continues to improve.

2.) Blocks

Despite not having Nerlens Noel available up to this point, the Knicks still rank 4th in blocks per game with 6.8. The impact of Mitchell Robinson and Taj Gibson have proved to be significant in the team’s defensive success. Against the Bulls, the team combined for seven blocks, three coming from Gibson and two from Robinson.

Once they gain Noel back, we can expect that number to rise even more.

3.) Turnovers

One of the biggest knocks on the Knicks last season was there inconsistency with ball control and turning it over. The team currently ranks 7th in the NBA in turnovers per game at 13, making them an above average squad when it comes to protecting the ball and making good decisions.

Ultimately, those few opportunities they keep rather than give away results in points and more production for their playmakers. Any given position can change the momentum of the game, so the Knicks walking away as a top-10 team in resisting turnovers is a great sign of their progression early on in the year.

4.) Points

The front office made it a priority to bring in Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker this off-season, and that decision has led to the Knicks being the 3rd ranked team in overall points per game through five contests. Of course, that number will likely even out as the season progresses, but the team is showing they can outscore opponents, which covers up some defensive issues at times.

As stated before, if the Knicks can continue improving their defensive qualities and efficiency while maintaining up-tempo offense and production, they will be an incredibly tough team to beat.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: