Over the course of the offseason, Buckets Over Broadway will be doing year-end report cards of the New York Knicks roster. The roster experienced a decent amount of overhaul this season, so we’ll simply be covering the core players of the 2012-13 team. Players will be analyzed by their offense, defense, and overall contributions throughout the season. Next up is Steve Novak.
Offense: Coming off a 2011-12 season in which Novak led the NBA in three-point shooting, the Knicks sharpshooter cashed in on a four-year, $15 million contract. That alone led Knicks fans to believe that they would get a similar season from Novak in 2013, but that wasn’t exactly the case.Apr 15, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Knicks small forward Steve Novak (16) shoots the ball during the first half against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Arena. Mandatory Credit: Curtis Wilson-USA TODAY Sports
Novak’s numbers were down across the board as he averaged only 6.6 points per game (8.8 in 2012). He did shoot a respectable 42.5 percent from behind the arc, but that was considerably down from the 47.2 percent the year prior. In addition, the Discount Triple Check didn’t come out nearly as often as Novak connected on only 1.8 three’s per game, down from 2.5 in 2012.
His best moments came early in the season when he averaged 7.9 and 7.3 points per game in the months of November and December. Coincidently, he knocked down over two three’s per game in those months.
But his numbers fell off the table after that. Novak never averaged more than 6.2 points in any month the rest of the season. A bit part of his struggles could be pointed at the change in the Knicks offense. After December the ball movement all but stopped, leaving a guy like Novak less open shot attempts per game.
Overall he wasn’t horrible and did play a career-high 20 minutes per game on the season, but he did very little to impact the Knicks success. The Knicks bench looked to be a strength going into the season and while it wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t that great either. Novak was a big part of that. Grade: C
Defense: When Novak is lighting things up from behind the arc, he offers up very little value. When he’s on the floor other teams target him, which is fine if the Knicks are playing great team defense, but that didn’t happen on a game-to-game basis.
He’s a 6’10” forward who gets beat repeatedly off the dribble when he is asked to guard on the perimeter and if he is asked to guard in the post, opposing big men go to work against him. When Novak is contributing in a big way offensively, you can live with that, but when he’s not it is hard to justify him being on the floor for long stretches of time. The 1.9 rebounds per game he offers up just aren’t worth the weakness he provides defensively. Grade: D
Overall: Novak still offers up value as a shooter off the bench but whether it is the lack of touches or the inability to get in a good rhythm all season, things didn’t work out great for him. Opposing defenses are more aware of where he is on the floor and it is getting harder and harder to get him quality looks. One season into his $15 million deal, Knicks fans have to hope that it wasn’t a mistake. Grade: D+
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