Despite being a top 10 pick in the NBA Draft in 2013, New York Knicks point guard Trey Burke has struggled to find his rhythm as a professional.
With the Washington Wizards, Burke only managed to complete 53% of his shots near the rim; for a point guard, that’s abysmal. With the Knicks in 2017, that percentage skyrocketed to 71%. Being an efficient scorer near the basket will allow head coach David Fizdale to operate his offense in a more open style, enabling Kevin Knox to work off of Burke’s speed.
Burke’s two point shot percentage increase by over 10% from 2016 to 2017. This could be a result of the Knick’s offensive scheme or the expectations lifted off of the six-year veteran’s shoulders.
How did Trey Burke improve as a player for the New York Knicks last season?
One of the more interesting aspects of Burke’s improvement is exactly how it happened and what he changed to increase his overall efficiency. One of his major struggles was the method he actually used to initiate contact and approach the rim. The difference from last season was that Burke would lean into his defender, allowing him to protect the ball and maneuver from an advantageous position. If he chose to rise to the hoop for a layup, it increased the probability that a foul would occur.
Increasing his offensive prowess will force the opposing defenders to stay honest, playing with the intention of keeping him contained. Having Knox and Kristaps Prozingis to open up the court will allow him to utilize his superb passing abilities. Burke finished last season with a 36.4% assist percentage – the highest of his career.
Additionally, he increased his free throw attempts per 36 minutes from 1.9 to 2.6 in 2017. His overall game saw a major improvement, and being that Frank Ntilikina is still yet to prove he can be an offensive threat, we should expect to see Burke get a solid amount of playing time this season.