The New York Knicks currently sit 5â€“1 on the season, with their only defeat coming to a lowly Orlando Magic team. Despite playing down to one opponent, the Knicks have beaten the Philadelphia 76ers, Chicago Bulls, and New Orleans Pelicans in consecutive games. While they may have drawn out the contests to the final moment, showcasing some essential resiliency, the Knicks have established themselves as one of the better teams in the league.
The maximizing of the three-point shot has contributed significantly toward the teamâ€™s success so far this year, as the Knicks are currently the top-ranked three-point shooting team in percentage and the 5th ranked in attempts from range.
Newly acquired sharpshooter Evan Fournier detailed why the team has enjoyed so much success early in the season, indicating they are playing with chemistry and spreading the ball efficiently.
â€œI think weâ€™re just playing with good flow and going with whatâ€™s in front of us,â€ Fournier said. â€œI think thatâ€™s what happens when you share the ball, when you have guys that are willing to pass the ball to each other and are happy to do it. Itâ€™s been a really good start to the season honestly. And we just have to keep getting better.â€
Fournier is off to a hot start in his first year with the Knicks, contributing 17.5 points, 2.3 assists, and shooting 45% from three-point range.
The Knicks are living and dying by the 3-PT shot:
Head coach Tom Thibodeau stated after the win over New Orleans that his team is relying on the three-point shot, but they are taking high percentage attempts instead of â€jackingâ€ up 3s and wasting possessions.
â€œI donâ€™t want to take reckless [shots] and race it up â€¦ just to jack up 3s. Thatâ€™s not what weâ€™re trying to do,â€ head coach Tom Thibodeau said. â€œI think itâ€™s taking the right shots and being disciplined about it and doing it together.
Thibodeau rarely shows positive emotion, but he is extremely content with his team through six games. Their facilitation and selflessness have provided better possessions and given them an advantage.
â€œThe thing I love about our team is a lot of times we have like three or four drive-and-kicks on the same play. And thatâ€™s when youâ€™re playing for each other and thatâ€™s when youâ€™re really a team. Those are the hardest things to guard because you really canâ€™t script those. Those are just reads, so [if] we play like that, weâ€™re going to score a lot of points.â€
If New York can continue to build their defensive strategy and remain consistent, they will be one of the more difficult teams to beat in the NBA. At this point, the Knicks are performing at a level that nobody anticipated, but itâ€™s directly in line with their off-season moves and growth.