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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    03/13/2020 6:40 AM

2013/14 NBA Team Preview: New York Knicks

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats
Numbers
Rank
Pace
89.8
26
Offense
111.1
3
Defense
106.3
18
Rebound
50.3
14

4 Factors
Offense
Numbers
Rank
Defense
Numbers
Rank
eFG%
51.5
8
eFG%
50.8
23
TO%
11.7
1
TO%
14.8
5
Reb%
25.6
19
Reb%
25.3
4
FT%
19.6
21
FT%
21.6
24


Monthly Performance
Record
OffRtg
DefRtg
November
 11-4
115.6
104.2
December
 10-5
112.8
109.5
January
 7-6
111.4
108.9
February
 6-5
112.3
108.7
March
 12-6
111.7
106.3
April
 8-2
117.1
110.1


The Knicks had a brilliant regular season, way ahead of the best expectations around them. I remember that the oddsmakers had the Knicks as the #6 best team in the East with a line of 45/46 wins at the start of the season, but the Knicks ended the regular season with the East’s #2 best record, only the Heat was better than them.

Coach Mike Woodson did a tremendous job not just in managing the players’ egos throughout the season, as he also created an offensive system that was able to get the best out of his players. On his tenure in Atlanta, the Hawks were known by the “ISO Joe” due to the absurd number of isolation plays that Atlanta’s offense used. Mike Woodson brought that number of ISO plays to New York and applied them on Carmelo Anthony, when he had favorable matchups to explore. The decision of putting Melo at the PF position was a success, with him ending in the #3 position at the MVP race.

The Knicks were a veteran team and Woodson turned them into the best team in the league when it came to taking care of the ball (11.7 TO/rate%), so his players wouldn’t need to waste energy in running back into defense to avoid the opposing transition plays. Finally, the Knicks (as usual) shot a lot of treys during the season:

Knicks' 3pts Machine
Month
3FGM
3pts%
November
11.7
41.6
December
11.0
37.1
January
10.2
36.0
February
10.3
33.5
March
10.2
37.0
April
12.2
40.0

Despite winning 54 games during the regular season, we can’t say that the Knicks were a consistent team throughout the season. They had three different runs during the regular season: a 18-5 start, then a mediocre 20-21 stretch on the following 41 games and finally, a 16-2 run on the final 18 games of the regular season:

Offense
Defense
Runs
OffRtg
eFG%
TO%
Reb%
FT%
DefRtg
eFG%
TO%
Reb%
FT%
 18-5
115.9
52
10.3
23.0
19.9
106.5
50
15.3
25.6
21.4
20-21
109.1
49
12.6
26.7
20.5
108.1
51
14.2
24.0
21.2
 16-2
119.5
56
11.7
25.2
18.5
108.6
51
15.4
26.8
23.8

If we look at the team’s evolution during the season, it was clear that the “main culprit” for the Knicks’ mediocre run was the fact that the Knicks weren’t able to shoot as well behind the line as they did at the start and at the end of the season. It’s like they always say: “you live by the 3, you die by the 3”…

Nevertheless, the Knicks got hot at the right moment: right before the playoffs and as they were the #2 seed in the East, they had a favorable matchup on the first round against the Celtics. They had some issues in scoring against an underrated Boston defense, but when you hold your opponent to 78, 71 and 76 points, you are in a good place to win games and so, the Knicks won the first three games of the series. Then the “JR Smith story” happened, he got suspended for one goal and since then, he heavily struggled with a 34-117 (29%) FG mark!

On the second round against Indiana, the Knicks got in trouble because they would not only face the best defensive team in the league, as the whole matchup was terrible for them. The Pacers had clearly the best 3pts defense in the league with just 32.7% 3pts allowed and so, this would be terrible for the Knicks’ offense. On the other side, Indiana had a PF in David West who would punish Carmelo Anthony down low and that would force the NY team into a lot of defensive adjustments. At the end, Indiana won the series in six games and they were clearly the better team in that series.


Offseason Report:

Unless some team was crazy enough to want Amare Stoudemire on a trade, the Knicks’ flexibility on this offseason was severely limited. Still, the Knicks’ staff did everything they could to reload the team even with the burden of having very limited finances.

They took a gamble on Andrea Bargnani on a deal that at first sight looks quite bad for them. It seems like they gave too much in order to get a problematic player, who has a bad reputation all over the league. It will be “fun” to watch J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Metta World Peace, Amare Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin and Andrea Bargnani meshing together this season. Good luck with that, Coach Woodson!

Besides the Bargnani deal, the Knicks re-signed Pablo Prigioni and J.R. Smith in favorable deals and after the Lakers amnestied Metta World Peace, the Knicks got him as well.


Season Preview:

The Knicks’ expectations for the new season seem to be too high given the real quality of their roster. The loss in the playoffs against the Pacers left the Knicks with a bad taste, besides the fact that the rebuilt Nets are claiming that they’ll the best NY team on the upcoming season.

Carmelo Anthony is the franchise leader and he is coming from a season where he was #3 on the MVP race, only behind Lebron James and Kevin Durant. However, if he has a similar production on this season, the Knicks won’t have a shot for the title because in my opinion, Melo is vastly overrated.

In his new role as a PF, Melo shot 44.9% FG, something laughable compared to the other top players in the league. The two good stretches that the Knicks had during the regular season were supported by a great Melo, who shot 47%, 48% and 53% FG in November, December and April respectively. However, a “top player” just can’t shoot 42%, 41% and 40% FG in three consecutive months like he did last season and so, the Knicks were obviously a mediocre team during those three months. Also for a team who gets so much attention from his opponents, Melo regressed last season with just 2.6 assists per game, his worst mark since the 2004-05 season! Carmelo Anthony will now play his second season on this offensive scheme that puts him at the PF position. He should be now more used to the role and so, maybe he’ll be able to improve both his shooting and playmaking ability, something that he couldn’t do on a consistent way last season.

Tyson Chandler has been the key reason for the Knicks to transform into a good team over the last two seasons, but injuries took a big part on his performance last season. Note that he almost had the same production on the last regular season as he had had on the previous season, but he suffered several injuries during the second half of the past season (back, neck, wrist), something that only allowed him to play 16 games during that stretch of the season. On the playoffs, against a team that didn’t have a true Center in the Celtics, Chandler didn’t have any problems, but on the series against the Pacers, Chandler was completely outplayed by Roy Hibbert in both ends of the floor. His 6.2 points/game and 6.0 rebounds/game were a poor sign, as Chandler also committed 4.8 fouls/game, while being actually fouled out in two games of the series. This was why he played just 29.8 minutes/game on that series. There isn’t any concern with Chandler and as long as he is healthy, the Knicks will be fine on this position.

The Knicks’ guards last season were a pleasant surprise. Raymond Felton was a serviceable PG, but extremely inconsistent on his shooting with 37% FG in 13 games in December, but with 50% FG in 18 games in March. Pablo Prigioni used his vastly experience and improved the team’s offensive flow when he was on the court. In fact, the Knicks’ offensive production with Prigioni on court was amazing!

J.R. Smith won the Sixth Man Player of the Year award, while he was able to play a career high 33.5 minutes/game! Coach Woodson has to get a lot of credit for keeping him in check (for the most part) and Smith actually ended the season with more assists per game than Carmelo Anthony! Iman Shumpert played 45 games after his terrible injury, but it was clear that Mike Woodson took it easy with him over the past season.

These four players returned to the team for the upcoming season and only Iman Shumpert should be able to offer more to the team than he did last season. J.R. Smith will start the season with a 5-game suspension and once again Coach Woodson will have to make some magic to keep Smith in check. He should also reserve some of his patience to Metta World Peace, whose defensive skills are declining, while his offensive production is getting more erratic than ever!

Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani will the the Knicks’ key factors for the new season. The most likely scenario will show us Stoudemire getting injured and playing a low number of games once again. On court, Stoudemire’s lack of awareness on the defensive end will get the Knicks in trouble as usual, especially as he is often found way out of position as a help defender. On the other hand, he is still an effective offensive player, but the Knicks’ current offensive scheme isn’t suited for his playing style. I won’t talk a lot about Bargnani, but I just hope that Coach Woodson won’t commit the terrible mistake of putting both Bargnani and Stoudemire together on court!

The East will be much more competitive this season and if the Knicks manage to repeat their #2 seed this season, then Coach Woodson will certainly be the Coach of the Year.

The Knicks have a lot of individual talent on offense, but chemistry will be once again the key word for them. Despite their great offensive production, the Knicks were still dead last in assist percentage last season with just 52.7% and let’s not forget that the league will be readier to defend them this season. Defensively, Tyson Chandler will have to be a leading candidate for the defensive player of the year award once again, as he will have to work a lot to fix all the errors that the Knicks’ backcourt will make on defense.

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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