With Carmelo Anthony struggling, who will hit an outside shot for the Knicks? Picture Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Outside Shooting is the Problem, Plain and Simple

The New York Knicks knew their offense was in trouble even before the season started. Back in December, Carmelo Anthony said it plain and simple: “We need shooters.”

Now we know what he meant. The Knicks’ offense has been abysmal this season. They are currently the second-worst shooting team in the league, hitting just 41% of their shots. And that number is a bit inflated thanks to the high percentage dunks of Tyson Chandler.

Anthony is the Knicks’ best outside shooter. But early injuries have affected his shooting. Anthony is currently nursing multiple injuries.

Amar’e Stoudemire is a career 53% shooter from the field. But he is only shooting 42% this season. Stoudemire has struggled to score without a proven point guard by his side. Now at the forward position, Stoudemire is having difficulty generating offense against faster defenders.

With Stat and Melo struggling, the Knicks have no consistent scorer from the outside. None. For that reason, opposing teams are defending the paint and daring the Knicks to shoot from the perimeter. The Knicks are getting plenty of open looks. They’re just not hitting them.

Someone has to step up for the Knicks, but who? Rookie point guard Iman Shumpert has been great defensively, but he is shooting just 36% from the field. Guard Landry Fields has bounced back in recent games, but he is not the consistent outside scorer the Knicks need. Backup point guard Toney Douglas can shoot the ball. However, this season he is shooting a mere 32% from the field.

So who does that leave? Exactly, no one. The Knicks have no outside threat right now, and opposing defenses have noticed. Other teams don’t respect the Knicks’ outside shot, nor should they. They are taking away transition baskets and scoring in the paint. They are forcing the Knicks to try to win games with what they do worst.

Somebody has to step up for the Knicks the way Shawne Williams did last season. They must find perimeter scoring from somewhere. Maybe Anthony gets healthy and starts shooting the lights out? Maybe Douglas finds his shot again? Or maybe Baron Davis comes in and saves the day with shooting and passing? We can only hope. Until then, the Knicks will continue to be easy to defend, and they will continue to lose.

Edwin Torres was born in New York City. He has been a Knicks fan since the early 1980s. He has visited Madison Square Garden on many occasions to watch the Knicks and his favorite player, Patrick Ewing. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.

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