Apr 22, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks small forward Steve Novak (16) points after hitting a shot against Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson (44) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

New York Knicks Perimeter Shooting Still a Concern

Even though the New York Knicks return 2012’s deadliest three-point shooter from a season ago in Steve Novak, what we’ve learned throughout the course of three preseason games is that perimeter shooting is a big concern for this team.

May 6, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Steve Novak (16) dribbles the ball against the Miami Heat during the second half of game four in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 89-87. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

After a busy offseason, I was in the minority when I often said the Knicks don’t have enough shooting and I still think that’s the case.

Preseason numbers don’t mean much, but trends do and the trend looks like that this Knicks team could struggle shooting the ball on most nights.

Taking a quick look at what we’ve seen so far, we saw the Knicks come out on fire in the preseason opener against the Wizards, knocking down 18-of-33 (.545) three-point attempts; led by Novak who knocked down all seven that he took. But in the two games that followed that light’s out performance, the Knicks went a combined 8-for-56 (.143) from long-range, with three of the makes coming from Novak.

That’s beyond bad, especially for a team that tends to go into isolation mode far too often and rends up relying on the three point shot far too much.

Overall this preseason, the Knicks are shooting only 29 percent (26-of-89) from beyond the arc and if you take Novak out of the equation, they are knocking down only 14 percent (10-of-70).

Sure, guys like J.R. Smith, Ronnie Brewer and Iman Shumpert have been out of the lineup, but Brewer and Shumpert aren’t great perimeter shooters and Smith, while he can heat it up at times, is a very inconsistent shooter.

Like it or not, shooting could be a problem for this team. That makes ball movement and unselfish play that much more important.

But eventually these guys are going to have to show the ability to knock down open shots. If they don’t, opposing teams will dare them to shoot from the perimeter and the Knicks biggest weakness could be further exposed.

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