The New York Knicks are rolling. Since acquiring F OG Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors, the team is 11-2, including emphatic wins over title contenders such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and most recently, a 38-point win over the defending champions Denver Nuggets. Anunoby’s impact has been felt on both sides of the ball and has elevated the Knicks’ ceiling to a new level.
The Knicks’ overall metrics are much improved since the trade
Since December 30th, the day the Knicks acquired Anunoby, New York has the league’s second-best net rating, behind just the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Knicks are also only giving up 102.6 points per game in that same span, the best mark in the association.
The Knicks have also entered the top five in net rating for the season, currently in fifth, and are up to seventh in defensive rating despite going nearly an entire month prior to the trade full of treacherous defensive efforts.
Anunoby’s impact has been historically good, as his +239 plus/minus makes him the first player in NBA history with at least a +175 plus/minus through the first 13 games with a new team. In addition, Anunoby’s on/off metrics display how large his impact truly is. With Anunoby on the court, the Knicks’ net rating is a staggering 24.7, compared to -14.6 with Anunoby off the court.
Anunoby creates a more balanced offense
While Anunoby’s defensive efforts have been impressive, his offensive abilities have had a major impact as well. In 13 games with the Knicks, Anunoby is averaging 15.4 points per game while shooting 39% from beyond the arc. His ability to knock down open 3-pointers has helped take the pressure off of Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, as the spacing on the court is much improved from where it was when RJ Barrett was still on the team.
After their impressive win over the Nuggets on Thursday, the Knicks will carry their five-game winning streak into a playoff rematch from last season with the Miami Heat on Saturday. Miami has struggled of late, currently on a five-game losing streak, so New York will be looking to take advantage and add to their newfound winning ways.
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