New York Knicks: Five super-early reactions to 2019-20 season

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(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
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4. Turnovers galore

For all the talk of point guard problems, the New York Knicks have other players who can handle the basketball. They may not play that position, but Payton, Ntilikina and Smith are not the only ones to bring up the basketball.

The problem, however, is those players have struggled to keep the basketball away from the other team.

The Knicks have averaged an 18.5 turnover percentage, which ranks last in the NBA. Attribute that to two games of 25-plus giveaways against the Celtics and Nets.

Headlining it is RJ Barrett. Despite the rookie’s superb play, he has 4.3 turnovers to just 2.7 assists per game through the first five days. Fizdale has placed the ball and confidence in his hands, contributing to a team-high 25.3 usage percentage.

Julius Randle‘s 4.0 turnovers are not far behind. He often has the ball at the top of the key or down low, acting as a secondary passer with a 24.7 usage percentage. 4.3 assists per game still topple his numbers at giving away the basketball, but six turnovers against the Nets and five against the Celtics cannot last.

It is difficult to assess if Barrett’s number is a trend, given his lack of NBA experience. As Randle’s NBA role has grown, so has his turnovers, including 2.8 per game in 2018-19. The Knicks will give him his biggest full-season role yet, so that mark could rise again.

Continuing to compile 25-turnover games seems unlikely, but until New York figures out their ball-handling situation, disparaging numbers on the box score will persist.