The New York Knicks Need To Adapt To The New NBA

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The modern NBA is changing rapidly as a league, and teams suddenly see 3-point attempts skyrocket and big men have to learn how to shoot and space, or else they become liabilities. Most teams have caught up or are actively trying to catch up with said times. This is the case from LA to Atlanta, Toronto to Dallas, and even in New York. The issue is that while the Nets have gotten this memo, the Knicks seem to be stuck in time, playing a futile slasher based offense. This type of offensive structure and their lack of perimeter defense has left them in the past and in terms of structure fundamentally incapable of competing with any NBA playoff team.

Everything But Net From Deep

The New York Knicks happen to be 29th in 3-pointers attempted per game, 27th in 3-point%, and lastly they are are 30th (dead last) in 3 pointers made per game. This team is ineffective at any form of spacing offensively and in a league where every team has competent sharpshooters, the Knicks are far behind.

This situation gets worse when you look at the Knicks actual players and how they project to be from the 3-point line. The Knicks projected starters have no player with a 3-point% higher than 32%, belonging to RJ Barrett which is not even good on its own, and the other 4 starters being in the 20s in terms of percentage from deep. This team doesn’t even have great options off the bench as they have no one with a 3-point % higher than 36.2% on the team at all which is a recipe for failure.

Giving Up Way Too Many Trey’s

The New York Knicks have the 2nd worst percentage in the NBA in terms of FG% from 24-29 feet, which are all three-point shots. Despite teams only attempting shots from there at the 13th most rate, they made the 6th most attempts from that distance. This is because in the Knicks most-used lineup, the lowest three-point percentage against rate is 37.9% which is higher than anyone on the Knicks shoots from 3 at all.

Players like Julius Randle and RJ Barrett have 38% totals given up, and their team has no one who has a given up percentage of lower than 34.2%. This is not good at all for a lineup that has a clear cut issue on deep shots yet they have no one on that roster who can turn that around. They instead decide that signing names that can score is the only way to go, which has proven ineffective and led to their on-court product showing in said ineptitude from the front office.

Stop Building A Team for 1990 in 2020

Sure in the ’90s a team that would force a team to shoot threes would’ve been a good one since most teams didn’t sport great 3-point shooters and so you took away their big man from the game and isolated them to beyond the arc if you defended the interior well. This logic doesn’t work anymore, yet the New York Knicks seem to have players that are only good at guarding in the paint and have no versatility at all defensively, so teams just rain threes on them and outscore this team because the Knicks don’t even come close to matching their opponent’s deep threat capabilities

The Knicks need to move on and try to build a more modern offense and defense, and if they want to keep a less versatile scorer and defender in RJ Barrett and try to develop him into one, that’s more than okay. They just need to make sure that they add really good shooters and perimeter threats as in the interior RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson can hold it down moderately well, and will hopefully get better at that as they age. If the Knicks philosophy in terms of team building doesn’t change, I don’t care if Dolan sells the team, they will still stink it up.