Knicks took a huge step forward in one category this off-season

Donte DiVincenzo, knicks
May 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) shoots the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of game four of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have concentrated on enhancing a specific area this offseason, despite the existence of several urgent needs. Their objective is to strengthen the roster’s potential to progress further into the postseason. The Knicks’ hardy run last season was commendable, particularly considering the injuries that plagued the team late in the season and some inconsistencies in vital areas.

The Knicks Enhanced Their Three-Point Shooting

One principal focus for the Knicks was boosting their three-point shooting performance. This metric stood at a league-worst 29.2% during the postseason, ranking 19th during the regular season at 35.4%. Improving perimeter shooters is essential to create more spacing on the floor and open up lanes for Jalen Brunson’s facilitation. The Knicks witnessed opposing teams effectively doubling Brunson in the playoffs, thereby hampering their offensive production.

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Roster Considerations and Star Players

While President Leon Rose has not introduced a third star to the roster yet, he may continue with the existing lineup. The team eagerly anticipates a significant leap from RJ Barrett and another vigorous season from Julius Randle, provided he remains healthy.

Acquiring Donte DiVincenzo: A Strategic Move

One of the major acquisitions this offseason was 26-year-old guard Donte DiVincenzo from the Golden State Warriors. DiVincenzo, who already shares chemistry with Josh Hart and Brunson, former Villanova teammates, brings fantastic three-point shooting to the Knicks. His record last year included a .397 hit rate from downtown across 5.3 attempts per game, averaging 9.4 points, a .574 effective field goal rate, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Apart from being an excellent three-point shooter, DiVincenzo offers strong defensive prowess, addressing a significant need for the Knicks.

The Trade Impact and Need for a Backup Power Forward

The trade of Obi Toppin to the Indiana Pacers is likely to free up shooting opportunities for players like DiVincenzo and third-gear guard Quentin Grimes. However, the Knicks still need to find a backup power forward to alleviate any strain that Randle might face next year. Derrick Jones Jr. has emerged as a potential solution, as he could sign a smaller deal with the Knicks to furnish support.

Assessing Derrick Jones Jr.

Jones Jr., only 26, averaged five points last year with the Chicago Bulls, making 64 appearances and shooting .500 from the field with a .559 effective field goal rate. While Jones is not expected to dominate the court, he is proficient enough to contribute scoring and fortify the floor with solid defense.

The New York Knicks’ targeted approach this offseason reveals a clear intention to improve specific areas, notably their three-point shooting. The acquisition of Donte DiVincenzo and potential addition of Derrick Jones Jr. reflect a strategic plan to fortify the roster. The Knicks’ fans and management alike will watch closely as these changes unfold, with high hopes that they will translate into a stronger performance in the upcoming season.