Knicks’ sharp-shooter proving to be an x-factor with missing scorers

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Knicks missing three key starters, they have needed many guys to step up. Shooting guard Donte DiVincenzo has been one of those guys who has put on a strong display of shooting night in and night out.

In his last 11 games, DiVincenzo has averaged 23.7 points and is shooting 41% from three while attempting over 12 threes per game. Only Steph Curry has made more shots per game from beyond the arc in that span, with 5.7 per game, per Statmuse.

The recent injuries have given DiVincenzo a bigger role

The losses of OG Anunoby and Julius Randle ripped the Knicks of two perimeter scorers, making life harder for them to score from distance. However, DiVincenzo has brought some of that back in his own way.

The three-point shooting leap isn’t strictly a result of the increased usage. Earlier in the season, his lights-out shooting forced head coach Tom Thibodeau to make him the full-time starting shooting guard after beginning the year with him coming off the bench.

DiVincenzo is developing into a complete offensive player

Now, he is quickly developing into a whole new player, one that bodes with confidence and tenacity on both ends. On a fully healthy Knicks team, DiVincenzo provides stars Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle with the perfect complimentary backcourt piece that opens up the floor for them to continue to score at a high level.

He also provides what the Knicks were missing during last year’s playoffs, as the lack of shooting they had outside of Brunson was the key factor that led to their second-round exit against the Miami Heat. The recent additions of Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic will only further enhance the spacing along with DiVincenzo come playoff time.

It is safe to say that DiVincenzo has already exceeded expectations in just his first year with the Knicks. His growing offensive game is making his four-year, $46 million contract appear to be a bargain of a price, and all signs are pointing to a continued ascension for his shooting.

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